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Enel to boost gas imports from Gazprom in 2007

Enel SpA, Italy's largest utility, will increase the amount of natural gas it imports from Russia in 2007 to help alleviate the possibility of shortages in coming months, CEO Fulvio Conti said. The Rome-based company October 5 struck a deal with OAO Gazprom, the Russian gas monopoly, to boost its imports by 130 million cubic meters, Conti said in an interview October 6. He spoke in Capri, southern Italy where he was attending a conference hosted by the nation's biggest employers group. „This will help counter the risk of shortages during the winter,” Conti said. Italy had to tap gas reserves in the Q1 of this year when a cold snap in Russia and Gazprom's dispute with Ukraine slashed supplies to European Union states including Italy, France and Hungary. Conti met October 5 in Moscow with his Gazprom counterpart Alexei Miller. Enel currently imports 2.3 billion cubic meters from Russia. (Bloomberg)