Austria gas plant blast kills one

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Italian industry minister Carlo Calenda has announced that his country will declare a state of emergency for its energy supplies following the blast, stating that Italy has a "serious gas supply problem".

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

"There is still plenty of storage across Europe to cope with this", energy consultant Massimo Di-Odoardo told the FT.

"But if the flows through don't resume soon and if the cold snap continues, prices will remain high through the rest of the winter", he warned.

The network carries nearly 40% of the North Sea's oil and gas output. Gas Connect Austria says that after the explosion, "transit through Austria to the south and southeast is impaired until further notice". He said the outage is likely to last "for weeks rather than days".

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According to the local media, the gas station is the largest import and takeover station for natural gas in Austria. United Kingdom natural gas futures hit a 4-year high at 0.7370 on the back of the news.

Europe has seen a cold start to the winter so far, with severe weather hitting the United Kingdom and much of the mainland over the weekend and early this week. United Kingdom gas prices also leaped significantly Tuesday.

"Austria's natural gas supply can be covered for the foreseeable future", the company said on its website.

Apart from Russia, Germany receives gas from Norway, Britain and the Netherlands and produces 8 percent at home. Those pipelines supply Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia but also Baumgarten's biggest recipient, Italy.

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