On Monday, pressure in the undersea Nord Stream 2 pipeline suddenly collapsed, and gas could be seen bubbling to the surface of the Baltic Sea near the Danish island of Bornholm. Shortly afterwards, reports came of a total collapse in the pressure of our other major undersea pipeline connection to Russia, Nord Stream 1, indicating a further rupture.
The Swedish National Seismic Network confirmed that as many as 30 of their measuring stations recorded the explosions with one of them having the strength of 2.3 on the Richter scale.
The pipeline had been filled with gas following its completion in November 2021, but Chancellor Olaf Scholz refused to certify its operation, and so it has remained out of service. Whilst the pipes were not operational, they were full of gas, approximately two days’ worth for Germany at a market value of more than €800 million. Most of the financial burden of Monday’s events will fall firmly on Russia, as they owned the gas. According to the Danish energy authority, more than half of the gas has already escaped from the lines concerned. The lines are expected to be empty on Sunday.
Two Nord Stream 1 leaks have now been identified; like the Nord Stream 2 rupture, they’re near Bornholm. There are three ruptures in total.
The EU and NATO assume sabotage. The Kremlin rejected speculation on Wednesday about Russian participation in the damage to the pipelines as “stupid and absurd.” German security authorities meanwhile assume that the three tubes of the North Stream Baltic Sea pipeline 1 and 2 after suspected acts of sabotage will be unusable forever.
Danish armed forces published a brief statement on Tuesday about the gas leaks, together with the video below.
Se video og fotos af gaslækagerne på Nord Stream 1 og 2-gasledningerne i Østersøen på https://t.co/pj96CN7CDB: https://t.co/7bgt8TljaH #dkforsvar pic.twitter.com/I1zEPaBLYO
— Forsvaret (@forsvaretdk) September 27, 2022
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