The largest Italian oil and gas company Eni filed a lawsuit against Gazprom due to a reduction in gas supplies. Eni noted that by May the share of Russian gas had fallen to a few percent, while contracts with Gazprom continued to operate, writes Bloomberg. The arbitration will be confidential.
Gazprom stated that deliveries were reduced due to the fact that Austria banned the transit of fuel through its territory. If the trial is objective, the likelihood that the court will take the side of the Russian company is high, says Igor Yushkov, a leading expert at the Financial University and the National Energy Security Fund.
“They can file separate claims or supplement some previous claims for each subsequent quarter. As part of their reporting, they must indicate that in the previous period they did not receive so many volumes of gas under existing contracts, because they did not terminate the contract with Gazprom, they need to respond to this, and these are some requirements for the reporting system, and in this way they every quarter they will either file a new lawsuit against Gazprom or increase claims under the previous lawsuit. But this is inevitable, this is a bureaucratic feature for the company, and many structures act in this way. Another question is whether there are prospects for such arbitration, because we have already seen the precedent when Gazprom sued the Finnish company Gasum and, as a result, the arbitration, in fact, sided with Gazprom, because Gazprom undersupplies gas not from – due to the fact that he does not want or refuses to fulfill his obligations, he refers to force majeure circumstances, he simply cannot deliver the required volumes of gas to European consumers, therefore he does not fulfill their requests in full. Each of the gas pipelines has its own individual problems. Nord Stream 1 initially experienced problems with turbines and stopped on September 3, 2022, Gazprom cannot pump through Yamal to Europe, because in response to, in fact, the nationalization of its share in the Polish section, Russia imposed sanctions against the operator of the Polish site of the company and Gazprom cannot have any relations with it. Judging by the transit, Ukraine has stopped one of the gas pipelines, so now only about 42-43 million cubic meters are flowing through Ukraine every day and about the same through the Turkish Stream. That’s all”.
The head of Eni, Claudio Descalzi, said that if at the beginning of 2022 Italy received about 40% of gas from Russia, now this share is less than 10%. Instead of Russian fuel, Italy imports liquefied natural gas from the United States, and has also entered into new contracts with North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.
According to Descalzi, Europe will need another two to three years to completely replace Russian gas with fuel from other suppliers. At the same time, experts note that blue fuel, which Italy now buys on the spot market, is significantly more expensive than Russian gas, which was supplied under long-term contracts.