The transboundary Yamal - Europe bi-directional natural gas pipeline, some 4,107 km long and traversing four countries including Russia, Belarus, Poland and Germany and running in reverse mode since 21 December, is putting upward pressure on European gas prices.
Eastbound flows on Thursday were at 7.1 million kWh/h, down about 9 million kWh/h over the previous 24 hours, data from the Mallnow metering point on the German-Polish border showed. Flows are expected to remain around this level until the early hours of Friday.
European benchmark gas prices jumped to a record 184.95 euros per megawatt hour (MWh) on Dec. 21 when the Yamal system reversed flow.
Those high prices have discouraged the buying of spot volumes from Russia, with buyers instead tapping stored gas in Europe, where storage levels have fallen below their five-year average.
According to Reuters, it is not clear when Yamal will revert to westbound flows into Germany, already running eastwardly for 38 consecutive days. A source close to Gazprom said the company is expected to switch flows at some point this month, as Gazprom has paid for westbound volumes.