The Netherlands and Italy are embroiled in a high-profile row about cheap gas exports, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Friday.
The paper says the Netherlands wants to end the special deal for Italy established in the 1960s in an effort to stop Italy buying cheap gas from Moscow.
The Netherlands has been increasing the price since the 1980s. But now Dutch gas export firm GasTerra wants Italian oil firm Eni which imports the gas to pay at least ‘€1bn’ extra for gas bought since 2005, the paper says, basing its claims on inside sources.
The Netherlands exports some 10 billion m3 of gas to Italy a year.
The dispute is currently under arbitration in Switzerland and neither side will officially comment, the paper says. ‘We are required to keep this confidential,’ a GasTerra spokesman said. Sources say the dispute is being discussed at government level.
GasTerra is 50% in the hands of the Dutch state. Eni is 30% owned by the Italian state, which also owns a golden share allowing it to veto important decisions.
The Netherlands has also been in price disputes about long-term gas contracts with Germany and France, the paper says.
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