Russian gas flows to Germany via Yamal pipeline steady after Nord Stream 2 setback

MOSCOW/LONDON (Reuters) – Russian gas flows through the Yamal-Europe pipeline to Germany were steady on Wednesday morning and above the levels of the weekend, data from German network operator Gascade showed, amid a delay in approving the new Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

The Yamal-Europe pipeline is one of the major routes for Russian gas exports to Europe.

Germany’s energy regulator said it Tuesday it had suspended the approval process for Nord Stream 2, a major new pipeline to bring Russian gas to Europe, throwing up a new roadblock to the contentious project and driving up regional gas prices.

The Dutch December gas contract, a European benchmark, rose as much as 6% on Wednesday morning, with the Nord Stream 2 news dimming expectations that the new pipeline would provide any significant supply over the winter heating season.

“The timeline for the start of the pipe now appears longer than what we initially expected,” analysts at Goldman Sachs said in a research note.

The analysts now expect the pipeline to start-up in February 2022.

British gas prices also rose, with the British December contract up 3% with its market also heavily influenced by Russian supply to Europe.

Flows via the Yamal-Europe pipeline into Germany at the Mallnow metering point on the Polish border were at an hourly volume of more than 12,500,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) on Wednesday morning, higher than over 10,000,000 kWh/h on the weekend and roughly the same as on Tuesday, the data showed.

Nominations for Wednesday’s volumes at the Velke Kapusany metering point on the Slovak-Ukraine border, another major route to Europe, were for 999,787 megawatt hours or 92.1 million cubic metres, similar to previous days.

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin, Robert Muller and Susanna Twidale; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa and Edmund Blair)

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