Rising bills, gas, fuel: what awaits us in the coming months

Rising bills, gas, fuel: what awaits us in the coming months
Rising bills, gas, fuel: what awaits us in the coming months
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2023 opened under the banner of price increases: petrol, energy, motorway tariffs.

Not only due to inflation which has continued to gallop for several months, but also due to the effect of the end of some measures taken by the Government and which, as of January 1st, have ceased to be valid, such as the discount on fuel. And then, especially from the point of view of energy price increases, what awaits us in the coming months? We asked Michele Marsiglia, President of FederPetroli Italy.

Let’s start with the news of the last few hours. New price increases for gas have recently been announced, the opposite for electricity. Why is there so much volatility around these prices and quotes?
Volatility always depends on the exchange of supply and demand on international energy markets. Following the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, 2022 gave even more incentives to the various international stock exchanges by focusing the strong gains not on the shares of each individual company but rather on gas, oil, etc. products. The markets have understood the great gap that exists in acquiring and producing energy, especially for Europe. The sum of all this is simply called: speculation.

War in Ukraine but not only: what are the reasons for the increases and what is the reason for the situation in which we find ourselves?
Consider that our associated industries, the oil sector or rather Oil & Gas, operate in about 60% of the countries that are affected or have been affected by situations of political instability and often with militias or war situations. Libya, Mozambique, part of the Arabian Peninsula and many others. This means that we know some dynamics well. In this specific case, however, the conflict involved a major global gas supplier, Russia, on which Europe is fully dependent. We are in this situation because in the last 20 years there has been no European Energy Policy and in particular a National Energy Strategy. A State that does not produce and does not generate energy can, in some international contexts, quickly default.

Is the gas price cap the right answer? If not, how would it have been appropriate to move?
Like FederPetroli Italia we have always been against any price cap or form of sanction. The solution is knowing how to adapt to the markets, not block them. Limiting a price, inserting a cap, is anti-economic and generates an anomaly on the market which results in a lack of product. A gas or oil supplier state could also decide not to sell the product to us, situations that have been causing concern in recent months. It was necessary immediately, at the time with the Draghi government, to insert a ceiling on the price in a different way. Households and businesses could have paid bills and energy consumption at the same price or a little more and public finances would have taken over that spread with the market price. In this way there would have been more breathing space for families and companies would have continued to produce, generating industrial wealth and social security contributions. It was decided otherwise and objective evidence of the situation in which we find ourselves.

Storage and procurement: on which aspect Italy is most in difficulty and why.
Let’s say that our fortune is called ENI. In a few months we managed to close contracts with gas-producing countries, both in Africa and the Middle East and fill the stocks. We are also lucky because the mild winter situation leads to less consumption, not only, it is sad to say, but the companies, by reducing consumption due to critical issues, have consumed less gas.
The problem is now. In a few weeks the ships full of LNG will arrive for Italy but we have no infrastructure to receive it, automatically the gas that will not be stored in Italy, through a European solidarity mechanism will be destined for others. Our only salvation is Piombinobut the situation between appeals to the tar and disputes is cause for concern.
Italy lacks energy infrastructures, we have been saying this for years, but today, given the situation, the evidence is there for all to see.

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Via the discounts on excise duties for fuel, even filling up is once again particularly expensive for Italians. How do you see the coming months?
I don’t want to cause alarm but when we talk we do it on real market situations. Energy is interconnected. We await rising gas prices and in particular for international crude oil prices. THEthe cut in excise duties and VAT was a ‘momentary tachypirina’ which, as I said months ago, would generate problems without curing the disease. That’s how it was. Today the sharp increases, considering that we are still in a critical situation, are only upsetting the consumer’s purchasing process and consequently consumer goods. We can’t be quiet yet, we don’t have the crystal ball and the only policy to adopt is to observe the markets at 360 degrees, by now adapting to that discipline that many had underestimated but which has always been the godmother of a world economy, speculation.

Michele Marseille, Federpetroli

The article is in Italian

Tags: Rising bills gas fuel awaits coming months