Leak discovered in pipelines – cause still open

Nord Stream 1 in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania

A sharp drop in pressure had been detected in the pipelines that normally transport gas from Russia through the Baltic Sea.

(Photo: Reuters)

Dusseldorf After three leaks have now been detected in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 Baltic Sea pipelines, the authorities in Germany, Denmark and Sweden are still looking for the cause of the damage. An unusually strong drop in pressure had already been detected in one of the pipelines on Monday night.

The damage reports are meanwhile putting pressure on the European natural gas market. The European future rose on Tuesday by 11.5 percent to 193.50 euros. Although neither pipeline is currently delivering gas to Europe, the incidents have raised concerns about the safety of gas infrastructure in the EU.

“The simultaneous collapse of the three offshore pipelines of the Nord Stream system in a single day is an unprecedented event,” said the operating company Nord Stream on Tuesday. “It is not yet possible to estimate a timeframe for restoring the gas infrastructure.”

It is still unclear what caused the leaks. The Danish Navy and German specialists tried to find out, the dpa news agency reported on Tuesday from security circles. The cause of the incidents has not yet been clarified. However, there is a lot to be said for sabotage. If it were an attack, given the technical complexity, only a state actor would actually come into question.

Top jobs of the day

Find the best jobs now and
be notified by email.

A report by the Tagesspiegel also spoke of a possible attack. The newspaper referred to “a person privy to the assessment by the federal government and the federal authorities”.

Poland suspects Russia

The Polish government did not rule out that the leaks on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines discovered by Danish authorities were due to a Russian provocation. The country is in a situation of high international tension, said Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz on Tuesday in Warsaw. “Unfortunately, our eastern neighbor is constantly pursuing an aggressive policy. If he is capable of an aggressive military policy in Ukraine, it is obvious that provocations cannot be ruled out, even in the sectors that are in Western Europe.”

Russia also does not rule out sabotage or other reasons. “Now no variant can be ruled out,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov when asked whether sabotage could be the reason for the drop in pressure.

Leak in Nord Stream pipelines: No impact on supply

The Danish authorities have asked ships to avoid the island of Bornholm as the leaks are close to the coast. According to the German Environmental Aid (DUH), there is no danger to the environment.

The Federal Network Agency assesses the consequences of the failure of the two pipelines for the German energy supply as negligible. At the beginning of September, Russia stopped supplying gas via the Nord Stream pipelines. The Russian state-owned company Gazprom has already stopped its deliveries through the pipeline with reference to an oil leak in the Portovaya compressor station.

“We are in the process of clarifying the situation here in exchange with the Federal Ministry of Economics and the authorities concerned. We currently do not know the causes of the pressure drop,” said a spokesman for the authority. “We do not see any effects on the security of supply.”

Federal Network Agency boss Klaus Müller did not want to comment on the rumors of targeted attacks on the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines on Tuesday afternoon. “The colleagues in Denmark and Sweden are in the process of finding out what happened,” said Müller at the Handelsblatt annual gas conference in Berlin. However, the incidents did not happen on German territory, that much is now known. We are in close contact with the responsible Danish and Swedish authorities.

Klaus Mueller

The head of the Federal Network Agency warns that the path to independence from Russian gas should be accelerated.

(Photo: dpa)

“Whether it was an accident or not, it underlines that Germany needs to become more resilient,” Müller made clear. Now, in the middle of the crisis, is not the right time for this, “but at the right point one must urgently pause and ask the question of how one can become less dependent on fossil fuels and advance the energy transition more quickly.

The newer of the two pipelines, Nord Stream 2, plays no role in supply anyway because the pipe was never put into operation in response to the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine.
With agency material

More: Final investment decision for North Sea gas field

Handelsblatt energy briefing

source site-13