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February 25, 2022updated 02 Mar 2022 10:27am

Yamal-Europe gas flow jumps four-fold amid Ukraine attack

The Russian invasion on Thursday this week has sent energy markets spinning, and concerns over tightening supplies rising.

By Scarlett Evans

German network operator Gascade revealed that natural gas flowing eastwards through Russia’s Yamal pipeline has increased by four times, amid ongoing impacts to energy markets as a result of Russia’s attack on Ukraine.  

Gas supplies between Germany and Poland at the Mallnow metering point (the westernmost point of the Yamal pipeline, where it runs through Germany) rose to 2.92 million kilowatt hours per hour (kWh/h) today, up from 700,000 kWh/h. 

While it is not immediately clear what impact the higher flows will have, the news comes as European energy markets see turmoil in the wake of Russia’s invasion. 

Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin assured European nations that their gas supplies would remain unaffected by tensions with Ukraine, with Russia’s state-owned gas company Gazprom saying on Thursday that its gas exports to Europe via Ukraine remained steady. However, the group has reportedly not ordered any transit capacity via the Yamal route for February or March and has no plans to hold spot gas sales this week via its electronic platform. 

Gas flows from the Yamal pipeline have been running in reverse since December last year, driving up European gas prices and sparking fears over supply issues during winter months, with the UK seeing a rise in household gas and energy bills that is expected to continue increasing.  

Russia launched its invasion on Thursday, with the UN human rights office stating that it has received reports that there have been at least 127 civilian casualties since then, with 25 people killed and 102 injured due to “shelling and airstrikes”. 

The invasion saw Germany pulling the plug on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, prompting gas prices to rise by between 50% and 60% on Thursday. Prices for liquified natural gas similarly jumped on Friday, rising nearly 28% as fears over a squeeze on energy commodities rose. 

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