Europe and Italy will have to focus more on Africa in order to achieve greater energy security, Mr Claudio Descalzi, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of energy giant Eni, has said.
A release made available to the GNA by Eni said Mr Descalzi was speaking at a conference on ?The future of energy, new sources and new markets for the United States and Europe?, jointly organized by Eni and the Aspen Institute.
?Europe and Italy should look at those complementary entities, such as North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Mediterranean area as a whole. Africa has huge energy reserves but little demand, while Europe has scarce energy reserves and great demand. Therefore we can say there is a strong complementarity between Europe and Africa?,Mr Descalzi stated.
He added that a North-South, South-North corridor connecting Italy, which already has the pipes, to Africa, would allow to pool resources and potentially lead to sustainable development in the African energy sector.
?We must find an alternative to the East-West corridor. Thanks to a North-South corridor we could create a virtuous alternative, leading to new investments, new technologies, new markets, and also fulfilling our energy needs?, he said.
He noted that the project had an added value from an industrial point of view, since energy was not expensive, and that it provided an African market which was expected to become a relevant market for the European production, as well as guarantee a diversification of sources from an energy point of view.
The CEO continued,?I believe this issue is of great relevance on the international agenda, since we must think about tomorrow, when there will be a strong increase in gas demand. This is the right moment to prepare our future. There is currently an imbalance between the United States and Europe. We must necessarily fill this gap in a sustainable way by looking at Africa, which is our most important neighbor and that, due to its great potential, is an opportunity for Italy and Europe?.
Mr Descalze indicated that Europe should also focus on the creation of ?a better interconnection between European networks? in order to reduce the gap with the United States.
?At European level, the first thing to do is to put together and to connect the whole transport and storage network, and to create a common regulatory framework?, he stated.
Eni is a leading international energy company operating in the oil and gas, electricity generation and sale, petrochemicals, oilfield services construction and engineering industries.
It operates in 85 different countries and has 82,300 employees around the world. Eni?s presence in Africa dates back to 1954 when the company started its operations in Egypt.