Last Updated on September 27, 2022
Germany suspects that damage to the Nord Stream pipeline that transports gas to the nation from Russia was the result of sabotage. Russia also announced that sabotage could be behind the “unexplained” leaks affecting both Kremlin-built pipelines, which has caused gas to leak into the Baltic Sea. The pipelines, which were designed to transport fuel from Russia’s far east to Germany, have been one of the main focal points of the ongoing energy war between Russia and the European Union.
Nord Stream AG, the operator of the network, said Tuesday that three offshore lines of the Nord Stream gas pipeline system sustained “unprecedented” damage in one day. When asked if sabotage could have led to the leaks, Russian government spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that “no option can be ruled out right now,” according to Reuters.
“This is a very concerning news. Indeed, we are talking about some damage of an unclear nature to the pipeline in Denmark’s economic zone,” Peskov said. “This is an issue related to the energy security of the entire continent.”
The Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines have a joint annual capacity of 110 billion cubic meters (3.8 trillion feet).
Not long after a leak was first reported to be affecting the idle Nord Stream 2 pipeline, Swedish officials announced that two leaks had been detected on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline. Both nations have diverted maritime traffic away from the affected areas while the incident is addressed.
Nord Stream AG said it was impossible to estimate when the gas network system’s working capability would be restored, Reuters reported.
Flows from the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which had been working at only 20% of its capacity since July, were halted at the end of August and were not restarted following maintenance. Nord Stream 2, which runs almost in parallel to Nord Stream 1, was built in September 2021, but it was never in operation after the German government refused to certify its completion. The project was halted altogether just days before Russia sent troops to wider Ukraine this past February.