One dead in Austrian pipeline blast

The gas that came in from the cold Britain turns to sanctioned Russian energy to avoid big freeze

The gas that came in from the cold Britain turns to sanctioned Russian energy to avoid big freeze

Italy, which now relies heavily on Russian Federation for its natural gas, should diversify its supplies, he suggested.

Authorities said the explosion was triggered by a "technical cause", without providing further detail.

Only one person is confirmed to have been killed in the blast, with an estimated 18 thought to have been injured, though some reports have placed that number as high as 60. However, "transit through Austria to the south and southeast regions is now negatively impacted", it added.

Armin Teichert, spokesman for Austria's Gas Connect service said: "The installation has been brought under control and operations have been suspended there".

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Italy's Minister for Economic Development, Carlo Calenda, said he would declare a state of emergency for energy supplies. Gas Connect Austria says that after the explosion, "transit through Austria to the south and southeast is impaired until further notice". The underground pipeline belongs to the Vienna-based OMV group, which has confirmed that there was a gas explosion at the site.

Massimo Di-Odoardo, an analyst at Wood Mackenzie, said Europe has enough natural gas in storage to cover its immediate needs.

This of course compounds the energy problem faced in Europe after earlier news that the North Sea Forties pipeline system will be closed for several weeks. "We might well see some competition between Europe and Asia to attract LNG (liquid natural gas, delivered by ship) this winter".

A UK National Grid spokesman said there was sufficient gas supply to meet demand amid multiple outages, underlining the breadth of concern about supply after the Baumgarten blast. Russia's Gazprom Export said it was working on redirecting gas flows and trying to secure uninterrupted supplies to clients.

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