Two gas pipelines linking Russia to Germany are suddenly affected by leaks in the Baltic Sea.

Controversial and out of service due to the war in Ukraine, the Nord Stream gas pipelines linking Russia to Germany have both been suddenly hit by unexplained leaks in the Baltic Sea, Danish and Swedish authorities announced on Tuesday, raising suspicions of sabotage.

The day after the announcement of a leak in the parallel Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline linking Russia to Germany was in turn affected by two very rare gas leaks in the Baltic Sea, indicated on Tuesday the authorities of the two Nordic countries.

Objects of geopolitical arm wrestling in recent months, the two pipelines operated by a consortium dependent on the Russian giant Gazprom are not operational because of the consequences of the war in Ukraine. But both were still filled with gas.

The Kremlin said it was “extremely concerned”, considering that “no” hypothesis should be excluded, including that of sabotage.

Copenhagen immediately placed its energy infrastructure on alert, while considering that it was “too early” to comment on the causes of these simultaneous incidents.

Following the announcement on Monday evening by the consortium operating the gas pipelines of a sudden drop in pressure on Nord Stream 1, the Danish Minister for Climate and Energy, Dan Jørgensen and the Swedish maritime authorities confirmed on Tuesday morning « two other leaks in addition to that affecting Nord Stream 2.

All three are located off the Danish island of Bornholm. The leaks on Nord Stream 1 take place outside territorial waters but one is in the exclusive economic zone of Denmark, the other in that of Sweden.

» Extremely rare «

« Gas pipeline leaks are extremely rare and we therefore see a reason to increase the level of vigilance following the incidents we have witnessed in the last 24 hours », explained in a press release the director of the Danish agency. of Energy, Kristoffer Böttzauw, promising « thorough monitoring of Denmark’s critical infrastructure ».

The alert level was raised to orange, the second highest.

Concrete measures to increase the safety of factories and installations will have to be put in place by companies in the sector, particularly with regard to access, surveillance and the proper maintenance of installations.

Built in parallel to the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline was intended to double the capacity for importing Russian gas into Germany.

But its impending commissioning has been suspended, in retaliation for Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Gazprom gradually reduced volumes of gas delivered by Nord Stream 1 until the pipeline was completely shut down at the end of August, blaming Western sanctions for delaying needed repairs to the pipeline.

German authorities did not immediately comment on the incident. But according to a source close to the German government, quoted by the German daily Taggesspiegel“everything speaks against a coincidence”.

“We cannot imagine a scenario that is not a targeted attack,” said this source.

Navigation was prohibited within a radius of five nautical miles (about nine kilometers) around the three leaks, as well as their overflight within a radius of one kilometer.

According to the authorities, the incidents have no consequences for the safety or health of residents of the neighboring Danish islands of Bornholm and Christiansø.

The environmental impact should be local and limited, according to initial assessments.

The Danish Prime Minister also inaugurated with her Norwegian and Polish colleagues the Baltic Pipe, a gas pipeline linking Poland to Norway and passing through the territory and waters of the Scandinavian country.

This strategic gas pipeline will allow Warsaw to become completely independent of Russian deliveries in the long term.

To see in video

(function(d, s, id){ var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) {return;} js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src = ""; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));


Back to top button