Mysterious leak hits Europe’s Nord Stream gas pipeline, raising suspicion of sabotage


European authorities are investigating the rupture of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines that pass through the Baltic Sea bed from Russia to Germany, raising fears of apparent sabotage.

Two offshore lines in the natural gas pipeline network reportedly suffered “unprecedented” damage within 24 hours, according to Nordstream, which operates the system.

Pressure in the submarine node Stream 2 pipeline quickly dropped on the morning of September 26 as bubbles began to churn on the surface off the southern tip of Bornholm, Denmark.

The Danish newspaper Jyllands Posten reported that a Danish F-16 fighter jet had discovered the leak while on patrol.

However, within hours of the first week’s discovery, a sudden collapse in pressure was reported in the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, and two leaks were discovered northeast of Bornholm.

Neither pipeline was operational, but still contained gas.

Seismologists detected three separate explosions in the Baltic before discovering unusual leaks in two pipelines.

Swedish state media reported Monitoring stations in Denmark and Sweden recorded two large undersea explosions at the site of the gas leak at 2:03 am and 7:04 pm on September 26.

The German Geological Research Center GFZ also witnessed the explosion.

The first explosion was recorded southeast of the Danish island of Bornholm, Björn Lund, director of the Swedish National Earthquake Network, said in an interview with the national broadcaster. SVT.

A second, more powerful blast, detected northeast of the island, corresponded to a magnitude 2.3 earthquake.

Norwegian and Finnish seismic stations also recorded the explosion.

“This is definitely not an earthquake,” Lund told the Associated Press.

Nordstream Gas Discontinued

Russia cut gas supplies to Europe after Western powers imposed sanctions over their aggression against Ukraine, with two pipelines becoming flashpoints amid an escalating energy dispute.

As the European Union seeks alternative energy supplies, the loss of Russian gas has roiled Western economies, sending gas prices skyrocketing and shutting down major industries.

The Nord Stream 1 pipeline was the main source of Russian gas to Europe until late August when Gazprom shut down the gas.

Another pipeline, Nord Stream 2, was never put into operation due to the Ukraine crisis when Germany withdrew from its energy projects.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has refused to approve Nordstream 2 in retaliation for the invasion.

Gas deliveries from Russia to Germany and Central Europe are currently only possible via the Yamal pipeline through Poland or the Ukrainian pipeline network.

The Baltic Pipe, a new undersea pipeline that will carry Norwegian gas to Poland with a capacity of 10 billion cubic meters per year per day, opened on September 27 during a symbolic ‘opening’.

Accusation of sabotage

Leaders and officials from Berlin to Moscow are beginning to suspect infrastructure sabotage, while the EU and Russia continue their energy confrontation over an invasion of Ukraine.

At the opening of the new Baltic Sea Pipe, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said: Leak in Nord Stream pipeline Caused by sabotage.

“It is unlikely that it was a coincidence. We cannot rule out sabotage, but it is too early to draw any conclusions,” Frederiksen told Danish news agency Politiken.

“We’re talking about three leaks, with some distance between them, so it’s hard to imagine it being a coincidence.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki also suspected overthrow.

“Today we faced vandalism. I don’t know the details of what happened, but it is clearly vandalism related to the next step in the escalation of the situation in Ukraine,” Morawiecki said. Pipeline Ritual.

A spokesman for Nord Stream AG told a German newspaper that the gas pipe near Bornholm is about 70 meters (230 feet) below the surface. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

It is still unclear who is behind these acts, but several state actors have been suspected.

Russian officials said there was a possibility of sabotage and that the incident would undermine the continent’s energy security.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the incident was “very disturbing news. It certainly speaks of damage of an unclear nature to pipelines in the Danish economy.”

Asked about the allegations of who was responsible, Peskov said, “At the moment, we cannot rule out any option.”

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken told reporters that US officials had yet to confirm whether the explosion was intentional.

danish army issued a statement As for the gas leak, it showed methane bubbling on the surface, along with some images of the damage.

A gas leak at Node Stream 1 caused more than 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) of surface disturbance.

The Swedish Maritime Authority (SMA) issued a warning about the leak after Denmark restricted shipping in the area, as it could lose buoyancy when ships pass through it.

An SMA spokesperson told Reuters: “We are taking great care to ensure that the vessel does not get too close to the scene.

A massive leak in the Nordstream 2 pipeline could take perhaps a week to contain, according to Christopher Botsau, Danish Energy Commissioner.

“The sea surface is full of methane, which means there is an increased risk of explosions in the area,” said Botzau.

Enhancing Security in Energy Supply

The Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority has told oil companies to be on the lookout for unidentified drones seen near Norwegian offshore energy platforms due to potential attack threats.

Danish authorities have also taken security precautions against the Danish power and gas sector after the leak.

This follows a previous failed attack on Nord Stream 2 by underwater drones armed with explosives that was spotted near a pipeline construction site off the coast of Gotland in 2015.

Russian security services announced last week He thwarted attacks on infrastructure that supplies energy to Turkey and Europe, and accused Ukraine of trying to damage its networks.

The loss of gas from the Nord Stream network could dampen remaining hopes that Europe will be able to receive gas via pipelines by winter.

Several German politicians had proposed negotiations with the Kremlin on resuming the pipeline due to fears of mass unrest and economic collapse this winter. European gas prices rose on news of the explosion, with European Dutch benchmarks up almost 10% on Sept. 27.

European gas prices are more than 200% higher than the same period in 2021.

Reuters and Associated Press contributed to this report.

Brian Jung


Bryan S. Jung is a New York City resident with a background in politics and the legal industry. He graduated from Binghamton University.