Russian gas flows via Yamal-Europe pipeline reversed for 6th day

A worker checks pipes at a gas compressor station on the Yamal-Europe pipeline near Nesvizh, some 130 km (81 miles) southwest of Minsk December 29, 2006.REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko/File Photo

FRANKFURT/PRAGUE, Dec 26 (Reuters) - The Yamal-Europe pipeline that usually delivers Russian gas to Western Europe was sending the fuel back to Poland for a sixth straight day on Sunday, according to data from German network operator Gascade.

Data showed that flows at the Mallnow metering point on the German-Polish border were going east into Poland at an hourly volume of nearly 1.2 million kilowatt hours (kWh/h) on Sunday.

Auction results showed Russian gas exporter Gazprom had not booked gas transit capacity for exports via the Yamal-Europe pipeline for Monday.

Gascade, which gets Russian gas and transports it within Germany, is owned by WIGA, a joint venture of Gazprom and oil and gas company Wintershall DEA (WINT.UL). Wintershall DEA is co-owned by German chemicals group BASF (BASFn.DE) and Russia's LetterOne.

Russia said this week the flow reversal was not a political move, though it coincides with rising tensions between Moscow and the West over Ukraine and has pushed gas prices to record highs. read more

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday Germany was reselling Russian gas to Poland and Ukraine rather than relieving an overheated market, putting blame for the reversal, and rocketing prices, on German gas importers.

The German Economy Ministry has declined comment on Putin's allegation. Gas importers have not responded to Reuters' requests for comment.

Data from Slovak pipeline operator Eustream showed capacity nominations for Sunday's Russian gas flows from Ukraine to Slovakia via the Velke Kapusany border point were at 739,826 megawatt hours (MWh), slightly down from Saturday's 747,031 MWh and below levels in recent weeks.

The recent drop was being balanced by higher nominations for flows from the Czech Republic to Slovakia, meaning that nominations for flows from Slovakia to Austrian hub Baumgarten were roughly stable compared with levels in past days and weeks.

Reporting by Christoph Steitz and Jan Lopatka Editing by Robert Birsel and Mark Heinrich

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.