MOSCOW: Russian natural gas flows through the Yamal-Europe pipeline to Germany eased on Thursday morning, data from German network operator Gascade showed, but gas prices dropped despite ongoing uncertainty over Russian supplies this winter.
Germany's energy regulator has suspended the approval process for the Nord Stream 2, a major new pipeline bringing Russian gas into Europe, throwing up a new roadblock to the contentious project and driving up regional gas prices this week.
Flows via the Yamal-Europe pipeline into Germany at the Mallnow metering point on the Polish border were at an hourly volume of just below 11,800,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) by 0900 GMT on Thursday morning, down from around 12,300,000 kilowatt hours seen on Wednesday, the data showed.
The pipeline is one of the major routes for Russian gas exports to Europe.
Nominations for Thursday's volumes at the Velke Kapusany metering point on the Slovak-Ukraine border, another major route to Europe, were for 1.0 million megawatt hours or 94.4 million cubic metres, similar to previous days.
Nonetheless, European gas prices eased on Thursday morning in a highly volatile market, driven by a milder weather outlook in December and as other energy commodities also eased.
The European benchmark TTF front-month contract was down 1.90 euros at 93.60 euros per megawatt hour by 0921 GMT.
Oil prices slid to six-week lows on Thursday as China said it was moving to release strategic reserves.