Europeans Say Gas Is Flowing

LONDON -- Germany, Europe's biggest energy market, was among the European Union states to report full deliveries of Russian gas via Ukraine on Wednesday after Gazprom resumed shipments the day before.

E.ON Ruhrgas, the gas unit of Germany's largest utility, is getting complete volumes of gas, the company said Wednesday. The country had drawn fuel from stockpiles the past two weeks to meet demand.

Russian gas entered Slovakia on Tuesday morning, Economy Minister Lubomir Jahnatek said. Slovakia had curbed gas consumption for industrial users during the crisis, leading to output cuts at companies including carmakers. Czech gas trader RWE Transgas received deliveries last night, RWE spokeswoman Annett Urbaczka said Wednesday.

Gas reached the Austrian border Tuesday, Economy Minister Reinhold Mitterlehner said in Vienna. Austria gets 51 percent of its gas from Russia, according to OMV, the country's biggest oil and gas company. Hungary registered the arrival of supplies on Tuesday afternoon, Edina Lakatos, a spokeswoman for gas-network operator FGSZ, said in an e-mail.

Gazprom and Ukrainian state utility Naftogaz Ukrainy signed a 10-year gas contract on Jan. 19, a deal welcomed by European Commission President Jose Barroso, who also called for new energy routes and sources to protect the EU in the event of future supply disruptions.

"This painful episode is a sharp reminder that the EU needs to take energy security seriously," Barroso said Wednesday. Russia and Ukraine hurt their credibility by failing to respect earlier pledges to reopen pipelines, he said.

Barroso's comments may boost efforts to bring the OMV-led Nabucco pipeline project to fruition. The planned 3,300-kilometer link would carry Caspian gas via Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary to Western Europe from 2013.