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The center of gravity in Europe's natural gas market is heading south as one of the continent's biggest pipeline operators builds a system that could make Italy an exporter of the fuel for the first time. Fortified with new supplies due from a $5.6 billion pipeline link to the Caspian Sea as well as tankers full of gas in its liquid form, Snam SpA and its Chief Executive Officer Marco Alvera are seeking to place Italy at the crossroads of Europe's gas trade.If successful, Alvera's efforts would accelerate the gas market's shift away from the U.K. and toward the Netherlands and southern Europe. The U.K. and the Netherlands are currently neck-and-neck in Europe's 720 billion-euro ($900 billion) a year gas market, according to Kingston Energy Consulting. Turnover has been slipping in the U.K. and growing elsewhere.Those will give Snam the ability to export gas to the broader European grid for the first time.
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