Sunday 25 February, 2024
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Nord Stream pipelines damaged in suspected sabotage

Nord Stream AG, the operator of the gas pipeline system, has stated that three offshore lines of the Nord Stream network have sustained “unprecedented” damage in what is believed to be acts of sabotage.

The Swedish National Seismic Network detected two clear explosions in the area on Monday. One of the explosions had a magnitude of 2.3, and was registered at as many as 30 measuring stations in southern Sweden.

Sweden’s Maritime Authority (SMA) said it had issued a warning of two leaks on the Russian-owned Nord Stream 1 pipeline in Swedish and Danish waters, shortly after a leak on the nearby Nord Stream 2 project was discovered.

“There are two leaks on Nord Stream 1 – one in Swedish economic zone and one in Danish economic zone. They are very near each other,” a SMA spokesperson told Reuters.

According to a German security official, the evidence points to a violent act rather than a technical issue. Gas leaks from three pipelines appeared almost simultaneously in the Baltic Sea, prompting Denmark to say it was stepping up security around its energy assets.

On Monday, Danish authorities had asked ships to steer clear of a five nautical mile radius south-east off Bornholm after a gas leak from the defunct Nord Stream 2 pipeline drained into the Baltic Sea.

The Danish Defence Command has released a video of what it said are gas leaks from Nord Stream in the Baltic Sea. The video released by the authority shows bubbles and an area of disturbed sea.

It has also established prohibition zones around the Danish island of Bornholm, it said in a news release.

“Following the three gas leaks on the Nord Stream gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea, prohibition zones have been established around the leaks for the sake of the safety of ship and air traffic. Nord Stream 1 has two leaks northeast of Bornholm, Nord Stream 2 has one leak south of Dueodde. The leaks were discovered by the Danish Defence F-16 interceptor response unit,” the authority said.

“The defense is supporting in connection with the authorities’ efforts regarding the leaks on the Nord Stream gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea. The frigate Absalon and the pollution control vessel ship Gunnar Thorson are on their way to carry out water monitoring at the exclusion zones, and the Danish Defence are also supporting with a helicopter capacity. In addition, the patrol ship Rota was in the area last night,” according to the authority.

German newspaper Der Spiegel reported that the CIA gave a warning to Germany about possible attacks on the Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea several weeks ago.

Russia had been reducing gas supplies to Europe throughout the summer before Gazprom announced the indefinite shutdown of the pipeline at the end of August.

Yesterday the Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority urged oil companies to be more vigilant about unidentified drones that were seen flying near Norwegian offshore oil and gas platforms – and warned that the drones could pose a risk of accidents or deliberate attacks.

Last week Moscow stated that the Power of Siberia 2 pipeline to China will ‘replace’ Nord Stream 2.

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