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Eastbound gas flows rise along Yamal pipeline but westbound requests emerge

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·2-min read
A view shows pipelines near Gazprom's gas processing facility at Bovanenkovo gas field
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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Flows along the Yamal-Europe pipeline that carries Russian gas west into Europe remained reversed for a 12th day and increased on Saturday, but requests for westbound deliveries suggested the unusual reversal might end soon.

The pipeline annually delivers about one-sixth of the gas Russia sends to Europe and Turkey.

Gas was flowing east from Germany into Poland at an elevated rate early Saturday, with data at the Mallnow metering point on the border showing at an hourly volume of more than 5.2 million kilowatt hours (kWh/h) versus around 1.2 million kWh/h in the previous 24 hours.

But on Friday requests for westbound gas emerged via Mallnow for Jan. 1 at 8.3 million kWh/h and on Saturday stood at more than 6 million kWh/h, data from German network operator Gascade showed.

Russian gas exporter Gazprom has not booked gas transit capacity on the pipeline for Saturday, auction results showed.

Gazprom booked 8.3 million kWh/h of gas transit capacity via the pipeline for January in an auction last month.

The reversed flows which began in Dec 21 sent already high European gas prices to record highs.

Those high spot prices, and traders using up their annual volumes of contracted gas from Gazprom early prompted sellers in Germany, for example, to tap storage to sell to buyers in Poland, prompting the unusual reversal of flows, according to analysts and industry sources.

Separately, Russian gas flows from Ukraine to Slovakia via the Velke Kapusany border point, another major route, fell to their lowest volume since Nov 2.

Capacity nominations for Saturday were down to 524,631 megawatt hours (MWh) from 887,094 MWh on Friday, data from Slovak pipeline operator Eustream showed.

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin and Robert Muller; editing by Jason Neely)

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