Italy steps up surveillance of gas pipelines after Nord Stream leaks

ROME, Sept 30 (Reuters) – Outgoing Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s government has tightened naval surveillance and controls on pipelines bringing gas to Italy from the south and east, two senior officials told Reuters.

The move comes after leaks were discovered on Nord Stream pipelines this week. EU states say they believe the damage was caused by sabotage, but refrained from naming anyone. The Kremlin said it did not rule out sabotage as the reason for the damage.

The Nord Stream leaks have raised fears of potential sabotage of other European energy infrastructure.

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Italy has placed under enhanced surveillance the TransMed gas pipeline, which links Algeria to Sicily, the Trans-Adriatic Gas Pipeline (TAP), running from Azerbaijan to Puglia, and the GreenStream connection, between Libya and Sicily, according to the responsible.

Rome has also issued its alert on the Trans Austria Gas (TAG) gas pipeline which carries fuel from the Nordic countries to northeastern Italy.

To compensate for dwindling supplies of Russian gas, which normally accounts for 40% of the country’s total gas imports, Italy has been importing more and more gas from Algeria and the Nordic countries in recent months.

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Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte in Rome and Francesca Landini in Milan; Editing by Jon Boyle

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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