Basilicata continues to exploit its vast gas reserves, while the rest of Italy has reduced or halted production, mainly due to environmental concerns. Expansion of domestic oil and gas production remains a contentious issue ahead of next month’s elections.
As of October, nearly half a million Basilicata residents will not pay for the gas they consume, thanks to the agreement signed with Eni and Shell in the spring, which will supply the region with 160 million cubic meters of free gas annually under the title of environmental compensation. In addition to fees, charges and other costs, it means that a
Gas bills will cost about half of what they used to be in previous periods.
Outgoing Prime Minister Mario Draghi has made reducing Italy’s dependence on Russian gas one of his priorities. Russian imports have halved since 2021, thanks in part to new agreements with countries like Algeria.
It was a key element of his plan New floating LNG terminal in Piombino, Tuscany. The local community strongly opposes this plan. This is why it is not clear whether the facility will be operational under the new government.
Giorgia Meloni, September 25 elections His first competitor claims to support the construction of the Piombino station. The city’s mayor is also a member of the Meloni Party, however he is one of the fiercest opponents of the project, which could make construction of the station difficult.
Government proposals for additional pilot drilling and the construction of import pipelines are meeting similar resistance at the local level. One of these proposals is aimed, for example, at doubling the capacity of the existing gas pipeline from Azerbaijan. However, the Basilicata region dealt with the issue differently, Thus, the locals are the biggest winners of extraction in Italy. The region sits atop Europe’s largest onshore reserves of crude oil and natural gas.
“At a time of global crisis and soaring gas prices, the Basilicata families are perhaps the only ones in Europe who are not experiencing rising costs.
– Tell Vito Bardi, governor of the region, on Friday.
Cover photo credit: Daniele Mezzadri / Getty Images
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