ER Editor: On a simplistic reading of the energy situation in Europe, Nord Stream 2 pipeline could be immediately be turned on to solve the manipulated energy crisis, one which will sink much of the German if not European economy. At the SCO conference in Samarkand earlier this month, Putin had reminded Germany it could start pumping through Nord Stream 2 as per previous arrangements.
So who’s done this?
The featured image of the fire at sea comes from this Youtube video of a gas leak in the Gulf of Mexico last year, referenced in the article below.
Pressure Mysteriously Plunges in Nord Stream 1, 2
Update: It’s not just NS2: according to Reuters, Nord Stream AG, the operator of the Nord Stream 1 undersea gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, said Monday it was looking into causes of a drop in pressure in the pipeline.
“Tonight, dispatchers from the Nord Stream 1 control centre recorded a pressure drop on both branches of the gas pipeline,” it said in a statement. “The reasons are being clarified.”
* * *
Reuters reported that the Russian-owned Nord Stream 2 pipeline experienced a sudden loss in pressure, and a leak was detected in Danish waters on Monday.
“A leak today occurred on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in the Danish area,” said Denmark’s energy agency.
Danish authorities said the leak occurred in the exclusive economic zone southeast of Bornholm island. Danish Maritime Authority announced all vessels must avoid the area:
“Mariners are advised not to navigate within a five nautical miles area of the mentioned position.”
Russian energy giant Gazprom, NS2’s operator, released a statement that said “marine authorities of Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Russia have been notified immediately” about the pressure drop, adding an “investigation is ongoing.”
“Overnight the Nord Stream 2 landfall dispatcher registered a rapid gas pressure drop on Line A of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline,” NS2’s operator said.
NS2 spokesman Ulrich Lissek told AFP a “large bubble field near Bornholm” was spotted. He noted, “pipeline was never in use, just prepared for technical operation, and therefore filled with gas.”
Lissek said pressure inside NS2 usually is about 105 bars. It is now only 7 bars on the German side…
A spokeswoman for the German economy ministry said there’s “no clarity” on what caused the NS2’s pressure drop:
“We are currently in contact with the authorities concerned in order to clarify the situation. We still have no clarity about the causes and the exact facts.”
European NatGas prices weren’t affected by the news because the pipeline, intended to double NatGas volumes to Europe under the Baltic Sea to Germany, was never operational after German Chancellor Olaf Scholz canceled it after Russia invaded Ukraine earlier this year. (ER: It was refused permission to launch long before February 2022, having been completed the previous September.)
The Russian-owned pipeline, which was intended to double the volume of gas flowing from St. Petersburg under the Baltic Sea to Germany, had just been completed and was filled with 300 million cubic metres of gas when German Chancellor Olaf Scholz cancelled it shortly before Russia invaded Ukraine. —Reuters
Underwater pipeline leaks can be very dangerous. In July 2021, Mexico’s state-owned oil company, Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), had an underwater pipeline rupture that sparked massive fireballs.
Germany suspects ‘targeted attack’ on Russian gas pipeline – media
Berlin suspects the leak that caused Nord Stream to lose pressure may not be a coincidence
While the loss of pressure in three natural gas pipelines between Russia and Germany is still officially being investigated, Berlin is reportedly no longer convinced it was a coincidence, and suspects a “targeted attack” on behalf of either Ukraine or Russia, the newspaper Tagesspiegel reported on Monday evening.
Pressure in one of the Nord Stream 2 lines dropped sharply overnight, followed by the same happening to both Nord Stream 1 pipes on Monday afternoon. Denmark announced that a gas leak was spotted off the coast of Bornholm island in the Baltic Sea and closed the area for maritime traffic, but could not confirm if this was what caused the pressure loss.
According to Tagesspiegel, the German government and agencies investigating the incident “can’t imagine a scenario that isn’t a targeted attack,” according to an anonymous source familiar with their assessments. “Everything speaks against a coincidence.”
The outlet explained that a deliberate attack on the bottom of the sea has to involve special forces, navy divers or a submarine. Berlin is reportedly examining two possible scenarios. In the first, Ukraine or “Ukraine-affiliated forces” could be behind the attack. The second option is that Russia did it as a “false flag” to make Ukraine look bad and drive the EU energy prices even higher.
With Nord Stream offline since late August, Russian gas can only be delivered to Germany and central Europe via the older pipelines going through Poland and Ukraine, Tagesspiegel noted.
“We are in the process of clarifying the situation here,” a spokeswoman for the federal ministry of economics told the outlet. “We don’t currently know what caused the pressure drop.”
Nord Stream 1 was built in 2011. Construction on Nord Stream 2 began in 2018, and took much longer due to political pressure and economic sanctions from the US. NS2 was finished and pressurized by September 2021. However, two days prior to Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, the German government put its certification on indefinite hold, and has categorically refused any suggestion from Moscow – or its own people – to unblock the pipeline. (ER: Around October of last year, Germany refused to consider a licence for the pipeline until January 2022, with no explanation for this choice of timing. Then silence, then Russia went into Ukraine on February 24.)
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