Moscow — The Yamal-Europe pipeline that usually sends Russian gas to Western Europe was operating in a reverse mode for a fourth day on Friday, data from German network operator Gascade showed, shipping fuel from Germany to Poland.
European gas prices climbed to a record this week after Yamal switched direction, but eased on Friday.
Russia said the flow reversal was not a political move, although it coincides with rising tension between Moscow and the West over Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday the reversal was due to lack of requests from buyers.
European gas prices were expected to find some relief from redirected cargoes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Asia as European prices make this diversion attractive.
Gazprom, which has a monopoly on Russian gas exports by pipeline, has not booked gas transit capacity for exports via the Yamal-Europe pipeline for Dec. 24, auction results showed on Friday.
Flows at the Mallnow metering point on the German-Polish border were going east from Germany into Poland at an hourly volume of around 1,218,000 kilowatt hours (kWh/h) on Friday and were expected to stay at these levels during the day, the data shows.
Data from Slovak pipeline operator Eustream showed capacity nominations for Friday’s Russian gas flows from Ukraine to Slovakia via the Velke Kapusany border point were at 739,843 MWh, down from Thursday’s 785,160 MWh.
That drop was being balanced by higher nominations for flows from the Czech Republic to Slovakia, meaning nominations for flows from Slovakia to the Austrian hub Baumgarten were roughly stable compared with the previous day. – Reuters (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Additional reporting by Jason Hovet in Prague; Editing by Edmund Blair)