RWE says Belarus gas cuts won't impact Czech, German users

London (Platts)--23Jun2010/549 am EDT/949 GMT

German energy giant RWE said Wednesday that Russia's decision to cut flows of gas to Belarus, an important transit state, by 60% Wednesday, up from 15-30% earlier this week, would not affect customers. "RWE does not expect any impact on the security of gas supplies to their customers," the company said. Some major Russian gas export lines run through Belarus into Ukraine and from Belarus to Poland. But Russia also flows much of its gas straight into Ukraine to Slovakia. "Russian gas for our customers in the Czech Republic and Europe is being delivered through the Ukraine and Slovakia," RWE said. "Storages are well-stocked, and situation is smooth due [to] the weather conditions." Gas demand is much lower during summers than winters, when heating demand is higher. Day-ahead gas at Continental Europe's main spot trading hub, the Dutch TTF, traded at Eur19.50/MWh Wednesday morning. That was little changed from last week, before the Russia-Belarus dispute. Earlier Wednesday European gas trade association Eurogas called for a swift end to the dispute and said it "insists that a bilateral dispute should not have an impact on European customers." RWE said that the dispute was, however, proof that Europe needed more diverse transport routes for its gas. Russia is developing new routes such as the Nord Stream and South Stream pipelines to avoid the sort of disruption seen in recent years with neighbors Belarus and Ukraine. The new routes would bypass those countries. RWE is a strong backer of the Nabucco project to import Caspian gas to western Europe through a major new non-Russian pipeline. --Alex Froley,


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