Eastward Yamal Gas Flows from Germany to Poland Rise

MOSCOW (Reuters) — Gas flows from Germany to Poland via the Yamal-Europe pipeline, which usually sends Russian gas west into Europe, have risen from the weekend, data from German network operator Gascade showed on Monday.

The pipeline link between Poland and Germany has been operating in reverse mode since Dec. 21, putting upward pressure on European gas prices.

The pipeline usually accounts for about a sixth of Russia's annual gas exports to Europe and Turkey.

The reverse flows on Monday morning were at 12.3 million kWh/h, above the 11.4 million kWh/h over the weekend, data from the Mallnow metering point on the German-Polish border showed. Flows are expected to remain at this level until the early hours of Tuesday.

European benchmark gas prices hit a record of 155 euros per megawatt hour (MWh) on Oct. 6, only to climb to a fresh peak of 184.95 euros on Dec. 21 when the Yamal system reversed flows.

Europe's gas storage levels are below the five-year average, with the economics for buyers encouraging withdrawals of gas from stocks rather than paying higher prices for Russian supply, analysts say.

Capacity nominations for Russian gas flows from Ukraine to Slovakia via the Velke Kapusany border point, another major route for Russian gas to Europe, stood at 287,307 MWh on Monday.

That level was in line with nominations so far in January but down sharply from December levels and 60% below a year ago. 

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