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Prices tumble as higher Russian supply expected

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: 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
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LONDON (Reuters) – British and Dutch gas prices fell on Friday amid profit taking after sharp gains the previous day on the Russian invasion of Ukraine and as auction results showed flows might resume westward through Russia’s Yamal-Europe pipeline.

In the Dutch gas market, the front-month contract fell by 27.95 euros to 108.05 euros per megawatt hour (MWh) by 1224 GMT, having risen to an intraday high of around 140 euros/MWh on Thursday.

The price for April was down 17.00 euros at 99.00 euros/MWh, while the winter 2022 contract was down 31.55 euros at 94.00 euros/MWh.

In the UK gas market, the March price fell by 69.47 pence to 252.20 pence/therm, while the summer 2022 price slumped by 70.00 pence to 260.00 p/therm.

Traders said there was a correction in early trade which was later accentuated by auction results which showed the portion of the Yamal-Europe pipeline from Poland to Germany, which has been supplying gas in reverse mode since late December, could resume in the normal westward way later today.

According to Poland’s Gaz-System, which operates the Polish section of the pipeline, gas capacity of 6.4 million kilowatt-hour per hour has been allocated for Gazprom (MCX:GAZP) for transit via the Kondratki transit point from 1500 local time (1400 GMT) on Friday until Saturday morning.

However, the resumption of westward flows was not a given, a trader said, adding that the market was still very volatile.

Russian supply to Europe has increased since yesterday via the Ukrainian route (Velky Kapusany entry point), Refinitiv Eikon data showed.

Refinitiv analysts said the recent price spike had made it cheaper to take Russian pipeline gas than buy gas on the spot market.

In response to the invasion of Ukraine, the United States and other countries have hit Russia with a wave of sanctions. However, Russia will not have its oil and gas flows specifically targeted by sanctions, a U.S. official said.

“Clearly there is concern over what retaliation we could see from Russia due to sanctions. The main risk being that we see Russia further reducing gas flows to Europe,” said analysts at ING Economics.

Russian’s Gazprom said it was supplying gas via Ukraine in line with demand from European consumers. Demand from European consumers stood at 103.8 million cubic metres on Friday.

European Union carbon prices rose, with the benchmark December 2022 contract up 1.16 euros at 88.19 euros a tonne.

Prices tumble on hopes for westward Yamal-Europe pipeline flows

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