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Italy's energy watchdog gives Snam further 800 million euros for gas storage

Italian gas group Snam logo is seen outside their office in Rome

MILAN (Reuters) -Italy's energy authority ARERA said on Friday it would give the country's gas grid operator Snam a further 800 million euros ($776.56 million) to cover rising costs for filling gas storages.

The additional funds would bring the total to 3.3 billion euros that state-controlled Snam receives this year for storage.

Italy aims to fill its storages to at least 90% of their capacity by the end of October to be prepared in case of a complete halt of Russian gas supplies.

In a separate move, ARERA eased rules under which Snam can provide supplementary gas to a supplier in difficulty to ensure customers do not miss out.

The move aims to avoid gas supply halts for customers and help small Italian utilities as dozens of them struggle to secure gas in time for the next gas season, which starts in October.

($1 = 1.0302 euros)

(Reporting by Giancarlo Navach and Francesca Landini; writing by Francesca Landini, editing by Federico Maccioni and Bill Berkrot)