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Xinhua: Italy eyes gas provision diversification

Italy was economically unaffected by the cancellation of the South Stream pipeline project and is looking at other plans to diversify natural gas provision, a government official told Xinhua in a recent interview.

The abandon of the South Stream project did not impact the Italian economy in terms of volume and capacity of natural gas, Gilberto Dialuce, Director General for Energy Supply at Italy's Ministry of Economic Development, said.

Energy giant Eni, controlled by the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance, was involved through its subsidiary Saipem in the construction of the South Stream offshore pipeline. Under the cancellation, Saipem should be able to collect substantial penalty, Dialuce said.

"However the South Stream project - which would have brought gas to Europe under the Black Sea - was important for Italy as would have opened a second route for supply of the same volumes of natural gas, thus strengthening the national energy security," the director added.