Yamal-Europe Gas Flows Hit by Technical Issues

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Russia’s gas flows to Germany via the Yamal-Europe pipeline across Poland dropped significantly in the last several days due to technical issues at the Mallnow entry point, the German gas transmission system operator (TSO) Gascade said Wednesday. The gas flows are back to normal, a Gascade spokesman told Energy Intelligence without elaborating on what exactly the technical issues were. The unplanned Yamal-Europe maintenance came at a time when Gazprom’s exports to Europe looked healthy amid cold weather and high spot prices, which help its long-term contract supplies compete with LNG (LNGI Apr.6'21). Despite the decrease in Yamal-Europe flows, however, Gazprom did not increase supplies to Europe via the Nord Stream pipeline, already operating above capacity, or via Ukraine, where it also uses nearly all the booked capacity. Yamal-Europe flows dropped around 55% on Apr. 9 to some 35.8 MMcm from 80.3 MMcm on Apr. 8, then increasing to around 53 MMcm in the next three days, Energy Intelligence calculates based on the gas transmission data. On Tuesday flows only reached 67.5 MMcm, still not fully recovering. Gascade data show that the unplanned maintenance ended on Tuesday evening. Gas flow data for Wednesday was not available. Yamal-Europe remains a key transit route for Gazprom, the only possible supplier via the pipeline. Warsaw however plans to use the Polish section of Yamal-Europe for the needs of the national gas transmission network from 2026, meaning it would not only be used for transit of Russian gas like now, according to a draft 10-year national development plan prepared by Polish TSO Gaz-System. The pipeline will enable distribution of gas from the LNG terminal in Swinoujscie and Baltic Pipe from Norway, both part of the so-called Northern Gateway, Gaz-System said (LNGI Apr.9'21).

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