Russian gas exports drop sharply to Europe via Yamal pipeline

MOSCOW, December 18 (Reuters) – Russian natural gas deliveries to Germany via the Yamal-Europe pipeline fell sharply on Saturday, data from German network operator Gascade showed, increasing pressure on a European gas market already tense as it heads towards peak winter demand.

It was not immediately clear why the flows passed through the pipeline, one of the main routes for exporting Russian gas to Europe and through Belarus. Russian gas exporter Gazprom did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

European gas prices have jumped this year as demand increased globally in the post-pandemic recovery. Russia, Europe’s main supplier, said supplies under long-term agreements were fully met, but did not add volumes for the spot market. Read more

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Gazprom delivers gas to Europe via multiple routes and reserves additional capacity – or volumes in addition to firm contracts – at auction for delivery via Ukraine and to Germany via the Yamal route.

Throughputs at the Mallnow metering point on the German-Polish border fell on Saturday to an hourly volume of around 1,200,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh / h), compared to an average of 10,000,000 kWh / h on Friday and around 12 000,000 kWh / h Thursday.

The supply of Russian gas to Europe is closely linked to the gas levels in Gazprom’s national storage. The company started extracting gas from its underground facilities in central Russia this week, with consumption expected to peak within a month.

The flow levels and their orientation on the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline are managed according to customer requests. The pipeline had been operating in reverse mode – carrying gas from Germany to Poland – for some time last month. Read more

It reversed to bring flows through Belarus and Poland to Germany after Gazprom recharged home storage and began restocking its European facilities to meet seasonal demand. Read more

Gazprom and the Kremlin deny any link between gas supply levels to Europe via existing routes and an ongoing debate over the new Nord Stream 2 pipeline which is awaiting the green light from Germany to start supplies.

Nord Stream 2, which would see transit countries such as Belarus, Poland and Ukraine lose at least some of their gas transit charges, began filling its second gas line this week. Read more

Gazprom did not reserve any additional supplies through the Yamal pipeline in a monthly auction for delivery in December and occasionally takes a small export capacity in daily auctions when it receives requests from customers. Read more

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Reporting by Katya Golubkova; Editing by Mark Potter and David Holmes

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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