The paper compares potentialities and criticalities of the Italian gas market. The aim of this work is not only the creation of a competitive market, which can guarantee the security of supply, but also the ambitious perspective of turning Italy into the Southern European gas hub. These challenges have as their most important obstacle a complex scheme of relations, involving both National and European governments. In this context, the most debated evolution is certainly the complete (ownership) unbundling between Eni, the Italian gas market incumbent, and Snam Rete Gas, the Italian TSO. Another discussed issue is the efforts of infrastructural expansion, supported by new specific regulations of the Italian Authority for electricity and gas. The purpose of this expansion, apart from the security of supply and energy security, is to have a direct influence on pricing and trade, in order to revaluate Italy’s role in the European energy arena.
Keywords: Security of supply, energy security, gas hub, take-or-pay contracts, excess of capacity JEL classification: L51, Q41, Q48