Yamal Gas Pipeline Set to Resume Westbound Flows to Germany

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian gas giant Gazprom was set to resume westbound gas flows from Poland to Germany on Tuesday via the Yamal pipeline, restoring the normal flows after the route was reversed in December and sent gas prices in Europe to all-time highs.

Gazprom booked transit capacity of the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline for eight hours, starting from 2100 GMT, the data at the booking platform showed.

The capacity of 16.2 million kilowatt hours per hour was booked until 0500 GMT, the data showed.

Separately, data at the German network operator Gascade also confirmed the expectations for renewal of the westbound flows for eight hours initially.

The pipeline, which usually accounts for about a sixth of Russia's annual gas exports to Europe and Turkey, has been operating in reverse mode since Dec. 21, putting upward pressure on European gas prices.

Gazprom has not booked any monthly transit capacity via the pipeline for February. It has a possibility to book it via daily auctions.

European benchmark gas prices jumped to a record 184.95 euros per megawatt hours (MWh) on Dec. 21 when the Yamal system reversed flow.

High prices have discouraged purchases of spot volumes from Russia, with buyers instead tapping stored gas in Europe, where storage levels have fallen below their five-year average.

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