Rome, May 13 (IANS) Italian energy infrastructure company Snam has signed an agreement with Spain's energy provider Enagas to explore the construction of an offshore gas pipeline between the two countries.
Snam, Europe's major energy pipeline operator, announced the move as European countries are searching for alternative gas suppliers as Russia-Ukraine tensions rise, Xinhua news agency reported.
Russia has been a major supplier of gas to European states.
Connecting Italy to Spain is significant, given that Spain has the largest capacity for re-gasifying liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the European Union (EU).
But the country's pipeline connection with most of the rest of the EU is limited because of the high Pyrenees Mountains that form the border between Spain and France.
The deal between Snam and Enagas would work around that problem by laying the pipeline under the Mediterranean Sea.
"We are working to take the necessary steps to contribute to security and to support the diversification of Italy's energy supply," Stefano Venier, Snam's chief executive, said in a statement.
For the first quarter of 2022, Snam posted net profit growth of 3.8 per cent, reaching 325 million euros ($337 million).
The company did not specify when the project would be launched.
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