Three large leaks from the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea were recorded on the surface on Tuesday, with bubbles up to a kilometer in diameter, the Danish army announced, which released images.
“The largest (of the bubbles) shakes the surface in a kilometer diameter. The smallest generated a circle of about 200 meters” in diameter, explained the Danish army in a statement about the leaks recorded near the island of Bornholm.
Europe rushes to investigate possible sabotage behind the sudden and unexplained leaks in the two Russian gas pipelinesinfrastructure at the center of an energy crisis since Russia invaded Ukraine.
The Swedish Maritime Authority issued a warning about two leaks in the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, the day after a leak was discovered in the nearby Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that led Denmark to restrict shipping and impose a small no-fly zone.
Both gas pipelines have been the high points of a growing energy war between European capitals and Moscow that has hit major Western economies, sent gas prices skyrocketing and sparked a search for alternative energy supplies.
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said that sabotage could not be ruled out. In turn, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the leaks affected the energy security of the entire continent.
Neither pipeline was pumping gas to Europe at the time the leaks were discovered.amid the dispute over the war in Ukraine, but the incidents will dash any remaining hopes that Europe could receive gas via Nord Stream 1 before winter.
Information from security circles in Germany maintains that there are many indications that the two gas pipelines were deliberately damaged in an act of sabotage, says the newspaper Tagesspiegel. “Our imagination can no longer conceive of a scenario that is not a targeted attack,” an anonymous source from government circles and federal authorities quoted the newspaper, adding that “everything speaks against a coincidence.”
Also the foreign policy expert of the Greens, Jürgen Trittin, takes for granted, in statements to the n-tv network, that the sudden gas leak detected in the Nord Stream 2 is not accidental.
According to Tagesspiegelthey shuffle two possibilities regarding the authorship of the alleged attacks against both gas pipelines. On the one hand, it could be the work of Ukrainian forces or forces linked to Ukraine, or it could be an operation of “false flag” by Russia to create more uncertainty and possibly raise the price of gas againindicates the publication.
The operator of the two gas pipelines said on Tuesday that the damage suffered by three pipes of both infrastructures is unprecedented and that it is impossible to predict when they will be restored.
“The damage that occurred simultaneously to three offshore pipeline strands of the Nord Stream system on the same day is unprecedented. It is not yet possible to estimate the timing of the restoration of the gas transportation infrastructure,” said Switzerland-based Nord Stream AG.
It all started on the night of Sunday to Monday, when a leak was detected in one of the two threads of the Nord Stream 2, which never came into operation due to Berlin’s blockade of the infrastructure even before the war intervention in Ukraine.
Nevertheless, the gas infrastructure was filled with gas and must therefore maintain the pressure.
The first Nord Stream, with a capacity of 55,000 million cubic meters of gas per year and in which two other leaks were detected, is also stopped after Russia alleges an oil leak in the only Russian compressor station that was still in operation.
ALARM IN DENMARK AND SWEDEN
The leak was recorded in the exclusive economic zone of Denmark southeast of the island of Bornholm, in the Baltic Sea.
Hence, the Danish Directorate General for Energy has declared an emergency in the electricity and gas sectors.
“Pipe breakages are rare, so we see reason to raise the level of emergency as a result of the events that occurred last day. We want to ensure the meticulous surveillance of critical infrastructure to reinforce the security of supply,” it states in a statement.
The announcement supposes the rise to the orange level, the second highest on a scale of five, which implies that “concrete measures” will be communicated that companies in the gas and electricity sectors must implement “to increase the safety of, for example, plants, buildings and facilities.
The Danish authorities initially reported a leak in Nord Stream 2 in Danish waters in the Baltic, and subsequently two others in Nord Stream 1, one in the waters of this Nordic country and another in those of neighboring Sweden, near the island of Bornholm.
The Danish Navy has also decreed an order that prohibits navigation within a five-mile radius around the areas of the leaks and flights within a one-kilometer area.
(With information from AFP, Reuters, EFE)
Denmark declared an energy emergency due to three leaks in the Nord Stream gas pipelines
The operator of the Russian gas pipelines Nord Stream 1 and 2 announced that it cannot predict when they will be restored