Prices mixed in volatile afternoon trading

A gas burner is pictured on a cooker in a private home in Bordeaux
A gas burner is pictured on a cooker in a private home in Bordeaux, soutwestern France, December 13, 2012. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/

March 3 (Reuters) - British and Dutch gas prices were mixed on Thursday afternoon on on lower flows of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and concerns that Russian gas deliveries could be targeted by U.S. sanctions.

The British day-ahead gas price < TRGBNBPD1> fell 13 pence to 392 pence per therm by 1256 GMT while the April contract jumped 24.96 pence to 435 pence/therm.

The Dutch front-month contract fell by 11.05 euros to 161.95 euros per megawatt hour (MWh). It hit a record high of 199 euros/MWh in morning trade, having almost doubled over the past week.

The day ahead contract , meanwhile, fell by 8.80 euros to 161 euros/MWh.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) on Thursday said that Europe could reduce its imports of Russian gas by more than a third within a year and announced a 10-point plan to cut the bloc’s dependence on Russian gas.

"The market is very volatile as traders are anticipating political decisions and disruptions," one gas trader said.

Analysts at Engie's EnergyScan said that the market doubts the sustainability of Russian pipeline flows as well as LNG flows and is anticipating the consequences of a possible further tightening of sanctions.

"The war is already causing damage to Ukraine gas facilities, with gas production significantly down and two gas distribution pipelines in the Kharkiv region hit by an air strike," they added.

Gazprom said on Thursday that it was shipping gas to Europe via Ukraine in line with customers' requests.

Russian westbound gas flows via the Yamal-Europe pipeline to Germany from Poland stopped on Thursday, data from the Gascade pipeline operator showed, while bids remained for supplies in both directions. read more

"Fundamentals have been largely overridden with geopolitical concerns," Refinitiv analysts said.

Supplies of Russian LNG to Europe have been disrupted by uncertainty over whether ships can discharge cargoes at European ports because of sanctions imposed on Moscow, according to ship tracking data and trade sources. read more

In the UK, the LNG sendout has fallen to 65 million cubic meters per day over the past two days, with several Russian cargoes removed from the schedule, they said, adding that this was another bullish factor supporting prices, along with expected cooler weather next week.

In carbon markets, the European Union benchmark carbon price was down 1.80 euros at 66.68 euros a tonne.

Reporting by Marwa Rashad Editing by David Goodman

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