Natural gas flow back to normal

Gas flows from Russia have returned to normal levels in six European Union nations and are increasing in Italy, Germany and Romania after a cold snap caused a shortfall, the EU said on Monday.

Supplies are back to normal in Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, said the European Commission?s spokeswoman for energy, Marlene Holzner, adding that distribution improved over the weekend.

In Italy, Germany and Romania, gas flows ?are increasing although they are not really back to levels we had before last week,? she told a news conference. ?There is no emergency in Europe so consumers get their gas… as before,? she added.

Gazprom, already dealing with a cold wave in Russia, had said on Saturday it could not pump additional gas to Western Europe, after EU officials and energy firms said the Russian giant?s deliveries had dropped in the nine EU nations. [AFP]