- A total of three leaks have been discovered on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines.
- The cause of the leaks is unclear. There is a lot to be said for sabotage, the German Press Agency (DPA) learned from security circles.
- The operator of the Nord Stream gas pipeline said it was unclear when the system would be operational again.
In the case of Nord Stream 1, one leak is in Danish and the other in Swedish waters northeast of the Danish island of Bornholm, this was also confirmed by the Nord Stream company on its website later Tuesday evening. The only leak on Nord Stream 2 is also in Danish waters, but southeast of the Baltic Sea island, as the Danish energy authority announced on Tuesday.
Because of the leaks, the responsible Danish shipping authority has set up restricted zones for shipping traffic near the island. The Swedish shipping authority had previously reported the leaks and issued a warning.
According to the Danish Energy Agency, ships may lose buoyancy when entering the area. There is also a risk of ignition. Outside the zone there is no danger, not even for the residents of Bornholm and the small neighboring island of Christiansø.
Poland accuses Russia
According to DPA sources, the Danish Navy and German specialists are currently trying to clarify the matter. If it were an attack, given the technical complexity, only a state actor would actually come into question.
Kremlin speaks out
Russia does not rule out sabotage or other reasons given the leaks in the Nord Stream gas pipelines. “Currently, no variant can be ruled out,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday when asked whether sabotage could be the reason for the pressure drop. «Obviously there is a destruction of the wire. And what the reason for this is – until the time when the results of the investigations appear, you cannot rule out any variant,” Peskov said, according to the Russian news agency Interfax.
The Kremlin is “extremely concerned” about the pressure drop in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 Baltic Sea pipelines. The news is alarming. The damage to the lines would have to be investigated. “This is an absolutely unprecedented situation that needs to be clarified quickly,” said Peskow.
Poland does not rule out that a Russian provocation is behind the gas leaks. You are in a situation of high international tension, said Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz. “Unfortunately, our eastern neighbor is constantly pursuing an aggressive policy.”
Nord Stream: “No speculation”
The Nord Stream headquarters in Switzerland do not want to speculate about the cause. One is currently in the process of enlightenment. “We are now mobilizing the necessary resources, also in cooperation with state authorities,” said Nord Stream 1 press spokesman Dmitry Smirnov when asked by SRF.
In order to assess the damage, underwater equipment would first examine the pipelines from a ship. In the area of damage, the tubes are at a depth of about 70 meters.
Despite being affected at the same time, there is no contact with the Nord Stream 2 company.
Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 are independent companies based in Zug, Switzerland. Nord Stream 2 is subject to sanctions and laid off 140 people at the end of February. It is 100 percent owned by the Russian gas company Gazprom. Nord Stream 1 is 51 percent owned by Gazprom.
Enormous amounts of gas are currently escaping into the Baltic Sea. The Nord Stream 2 pipelines alone, although they never went into operation, were filled with 177 million cubic meters of gas.
Poland’s national conservative PiS government had spoken out against the construction of Nord Stream 2, which was completed in autumn 2021. She always warned that Russia could thereby increase Europe’s dependence on its gas supplies and put current transit countries under pressure.
Pressure drop since Monday
A pressure drop was detected in the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipelines on Monday. Both twin tubes run from Russia across the Baltic Sea to Germany.
Nord Stream 1 was commissioned in 2011. After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent sanctions by the West, Russia initially reduced gas transport through Nord Stream 1 and stopped it completely a few weeks ago. Nord Stream 2 had been completed a year ago, but had never received an operating permit from Germany.
After the pressure drop in the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, the German Federal Network Agency stated that it did not expect any effects on the security of supply. “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.