Italian gas group Snam and Spain’s Enagas have agreed to jointly assess the technical feasibility of the construction of an offshore pipeline between the two European countries.

The move comes amid Europe’s efforts to diversify its energy supply mix and cut its reliance on Russian gas in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Snam CEO Stefano Venier was cited by Reuters as saying that, if approved, the offshore pipeline will have an annual capacity of up to 30 billion cubic metres.

Venier said: “Our transport, storage, and regasification infrastructure confirms its key role in the current complex geopolitical environment.

“For this reason, the entire Snam team is working to take the necessary initiatives to contribute to the security and to support the diversification of energy supply in Italy, and in the territories in which we operate, while remaining committed to enabling the energy transition and achieving our carbon neutrality goals, in the interest of all our stakeholders.”

Snam and Enagas are planning to complete a feasibility study for the proposed pipeline project in three to four months.

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Venier said Snam is also considering relaunching the eight billion cubic metre per year Midcat project, which would transport LNG from Spain to France.

Tthrough its Terega unit, Snam owns a stake in the Midcat project.

Italy’s state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), which is the biggest investor in Snam, is also considering acquiring two floating regasification vessels to process additional liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies.

Venier said one of the vessels would be commissioned in 2023 and the second in 2024.

Snam runs almost all of the gas transport and storage business in Italy, which currently owns three LNG terminals.

The group anticipates the gas demand in Italy to fall this year due to a surge in energy prices.