“As North African energy links are redrawn, Italy becomes Europe’s southern gas hub”, Francis Ghilès (CIDOB, Barcelona)

The war that began in Ukraine in February 2022 is reshaping international relations – in some sectors faster than others. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the field of energy, especially where gas and green energy are concerned. The European Union (EU) has underestimated the role natural gas would play in the energy transition since the turn of the century, irrespective of any given energy transition scenario. Hence the scramble to find more gas internationally once the EU decided to cut gas supplies from its major foreign supplier, Russia. The scramble was worsened by the fact that non-Russian producers of gas will not, for the next three years, have much extra supply capacity. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is even scarcer that piped gas. In this context, Italy is reasserting its influence, especially in the central Mediterranean as it replaces its Russiansourced gas with greater amounts of Algeria, Egyptian and now Israeli gas.

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