Russian Gas Flows Via Yamal Pipeline to Germany Halt, Bids Remain

MOSCOW (Reuters) — Russian westbound gas flows via the Yamal-Europe pipeline to Germany from Poland stopped on Thursday, data from the Gascade pipeline operator showed, while bids remained for supplies in both directions.

Russian energy supplies have been in spotlight amid Kremlin's tensions with the West and invasion of Ukraine, which Russia describes as a "special operation".

The German-Polish section of the pipeline switched into reverse, eastbound, mode on Dec. 21 as buyers in Poland drew on stored supplies from Germany rather than buying more Russian gas at high spot prices.

Unstable Russian gas supplies and high demand for the fuel as economies recover from the pandemic have led to a spike in gas prices in Europe.

Gazprom has intermittingly sent gas westward via the link in recent days amid high demand in Europe. It has also increased supplies to Europe via Ukraine, another key route. 

Gazprom said it was shipping gas to Europe via Ukraine in line with customers' requests.

Russian gas accounts for some 40% of European gas demand, while the Yamal-Europe pipeline usually accounts for about 15% of Russia's westbound supply of gas to Europe and Turkey.

According to the data, westbound gas supplies had been mostly at about 17.5 million kWh/h at Mallnow metering point for some 10 hours before the stoppage.

The data from the Gascade operator showed preliminary bids of 6.4 million kWh/h for the next 24 hours for westbound supplies, while bids for eastbound flows of 6.1 million kWh/h.

Interfax news agency reported that westbound gas supplies via the route had been booked for March 3.

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