Libyan Delivery Of Natural Gas To Italy Slowing Down, Situation "Worsening"

More trouble for Italy, whose CDS has surprisingly not spiked in OTC trading yet. In addition to a "technical glitch" halting its stock exchange, now Reuters reports that the country's natural gas deliveries may be compromised. "Political unrest has hit Libya, which is Italy's biggest oil supplier and covers about 10 percent of its gas needs. Gas is carried via underwater pipeline Greenstream, which is controlled by oil and gas major Eni. "Supplies have not been interrupted, but the situation is very complicated," Industry Undersecretary Stefano Saglia told a conference on Tuesday. Gas flows from Libya into Italy through the 510 km pipeline have been slowing since late Monday, and the situation is worsening, Italian energy publication Staffetta Quotidiana said, quoting sources close to the situation. Who would have thought that African revolutionary butterflies can flap their wings and cause the price of that most hated of products - nattie, to be on the verge of surging.

Italy's last resort? Tapping into its strategic reserve.

Italy, which relies heavily on energy imports, is ready to use strategic gas stocks if imports from key supplier Libya are interrupted, the junior minister in charge of energy said.

Saglia said the security committee for gas supplies had already been alerted in case flows were interrupted, adding that ordinary and strategic stocks would then be used.

"So there should not be a problem," he added.

And if there "is a problem" Italy will just shut down the heating needs of its citizens. Worst case they can just blame winter cold on snow.


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