The map of gas fields in Italy: where it is extracted and how much we import
In Italy, where there are 1,298 natural gas fields and 9 storage sites, 76 billion cubic meters are consumed per year. 96% are imported from abroad.
Due to the geopolitical tensions triggered by the war in Ukraine Italia – and in the rest of Europe – a real one is manifesting an energy emergency catalyzed by the uncontrolled increase in the price of gas (which is also linked to that of electricity). The bills have practically quadrupled within a year and a further sting is expected during the cold months between 2022 and 2023, in light of the continuous increases in raw materials.
The last in chronological order, which led to approx 260 Euro al megawattora after a peak of 275 euros, is due to the indefinite closure of the Nord Stream gas pipeline by Russia which according to analysts represents a clear response to the desire to introduce the famous “European roof” At the price of gas (while Moscow speaks of difficulties in repairs due to economic sanctions Westerners).
Since Russia is the main supplier of gas for many European countries, with the closure of Nord Stream a decidedly complicated winter is expected, during which it will be necessary to plan concrete aid for companies and families and to introduce measures to promote energy-saving. Some, like the lowering of the temperature of the heaters (at 18 – 19 ° C), the reduction of the duration of switching on the radiators, and it public lighting shutdown relating to monuments, fountains, and buildings, are on the table of the Council of Ministers and already approved by some municipalities, others – such as the infamous rationing – are on the horizon should the situation become more complicated.
The gasifiers plants are capable of converting liquefied natural gas (il LNG, such as that imported from the USA with LNG carriers) into gaseous, usable in the national network. A greater number and widespread distribution of these industrial plants – sometimes installed in the ships themselves – can favor the import and processing of more liquefied natural gas.
Where are the gas fields in Italy: the 2022 map
As indicated by the Plan for the sustainable energy transition of suitable areas (Pitesti), in our country they are present 1,298 production wells of natural gas, of which 514 are classified as “lenders” – therefore actually used for the extractions – and more than 750 are instead defined as “non-lenders”, which does not mean that they are no longer in use, but simply that they are not active.
Wells can switch from one state to another based on exhaustion, the need to install new technologies, and the like. The last 32 wells have purposes instead maintenance from “reiniezione and other use “. In total, based on data from the Ministry of Economic Development (MISE), Italy in 2021 barely extracted 3.34 billion cubic meters of natural gas, compared to a consumption of well 76.1 billion cubic meters.
The significant difference between the gas produced and consumed indicates that we import the vast majority of natural gas. According to the Pitesti report, the main gas fields in Italy are located in the Adriatic sea especially in its northern and central portion, in front of the coasts of Emilia Romagnaof the Marchedell’Abruzzo he was born in Molise. Also significant are those present in the Channel of Sicily.
It is no coincidence that two of the fields on which we are focusing a lot for the near future, Cassiopeia e Argo, is located right in this area. Based on what was recently declared by the Minister of Ecological Transition Roberto Cingolani they should reach full operation in 2024. Thanks to them and other fields – such as those of the Marche and Crotone – it is estimated that over 5 billion cubic meters of gas are internally extracted.
They will certainly be useful to at least partially contain the price increase, but the consequences of the war in Ukraine could still determine astronomical increases. And certainly, 5 billion cubic meters represent a small part of the enormous Italian requirement.
The list of Regions with more natural gas fields (between land and marine areas)
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- Emilia Romagna: 187
- Tuscany: 45
- Sicily: 44
- Molise: 15
- Puglia: 12
- Marche: 12
- Lombardy: 8
- Calabria: 7
- Basilicata: 6
- Abruzzo: 1
According to the estimates of the MISE in the Italian subsoil, there would be 350 billion cubic meters of natural gas, including both confirmed and potential reserves. The certain figure is between 70 and 90 billion cubic meters, practically what we consume in a single year.
At the end of the last century in our country, they mined up to 20 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year, but for many reasons, this figure has been reduced by one-sixth today. It is assumed that by updating the non-dispensing wells and improving those already operational, it is possible to reach 10 billion cubic meters per year. It is a significant increase, but insufficient for our needs.
Where natural gas is extracted in Italy: the list of storage sites
In Italy, there are sixteen storage sites for natural gas, all connected to the national grid. They are managed by various operators, including STOGIT (the main one, controlled by SNAM), ENI, EDISON, ITAL GAS STORAGE, and GEOGASTOCK. As the name suggests, they have the task of storing the precious raw material, to be introduced into national circuits in case of need.
According to the European program “RepowerI“, The states of the European Union are obliged to fill in by the first of October of each year at least 90 percent of storage sites. Here is the updated list as of May 18, 2022, of the Italian ones provided by the National Mining Office for Hydrocarbons and Georesources (UNMIG).
Regions with multiple storage sites
- Lombardy: 7
- Emilia Romagna: 5
- Abruzzo: 2
- Basilicata: 1
- Veneto: 1
Gas imports into Italy: updated government data
As specified, of the approximately 76 billion cubic meters consumed in 2021 by Italy, beyond 95 percent were imported from abroad. The main supplier was Russia, with nearly 30 billion cubic meters (40 percent of the total). They follow Algeria with 22.5 billion cubic meters (30 percent), Azerbaijan with 7.2 billion cubic meters (10 percent), Qatar with 6.9 billion cubic meters, Libya with 3.2 billion cubic meters, Norway with 1.9 billion cubic meters, and other countries, including the Netherlands, the United States, and Egypt.