Russian Gas Makes Germany a Supplier, Prospex Says

New pipelines that distribute Russian natural gas in Germany are lifting German trading volumes and turning Europe’s biggest energy market into a supplier of the fuel to other countries, according to Prospex Research Ltd.

Gas-trading volumes in Germany rose 20 percent to a record 2,947 terawatt-hours last year from 2,460 terawatt-hours in 2012, a report on the nation’s gas market to be published tomorrow showed. Russian gas covered 39 percent of Germany’s import needs, up from a 31 percent share in the prior year and the highest in at least three years, according to German energy lobby BDEW.

“Germany is now an important place of supply for natural gas, driving trading volumes in the market,” Nigel Harris, an analyst at Prospex and the report’s author, said by phone from London yesterday. “Rather than being at the end of the pipeline for Russian gas, it is now at the start.”

Poland and the Czech Republic may draw German gas, reversing traditional east-to-west flows, if Russia opts to cut its supplies to Ukraine, according to Prospex. A popular uprising in Ukraine ousted Russian-backed President Viktor Yanukovych in February.

“Germany is becoming an ever more important supply source for several of its neighbors, and the importance of the German hubs as a physical supply source now extends beyond Germany’s borders to cover a broad region from France to the Czech Republic and from Denmark to Austria,” Harris said.

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