Nord Stream pipelines damaged, possibly sabotaged
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said three leaks were detected Monday in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines that carry natural gas under the sea from Russia to Europe. The Swedish national police said the leaks were “gross sabotage.” Bjorn Lund, a seismologist with Uppsala University in Sweden, said two explosions were recorded off the Danish coast. He said they know how to distinguish an underwater blast from an earthquake—and this was a blast.
Is gas still flowing? Though neither pipeline was operating, both held natural gas under pressure. Denmark’s Energy Agency said it could be a week before gas stops draining out of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. The agency also said that it would likely only affect the local environment. Europe had hoped to receive some natural gas via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline this winter. Now, the two pipelines are unlikely to be able to carry any fuel even if there was political will to operate them, analysts at the Eurasia Group said. Countries in the area have issued warnings to ships telling them not to sail near the leaks. The bubbling could change the density of the water enough that a ship could sink, officials said.
Dig deeper: Listen to Jenny Lind Schmitt and Mary Reichard’s report on The World and Everything in It podcast about Europe’s energy problem.
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