February 2, 2023 12:44 am

Category

Sabotage Or Coincidence: Nord Stream Pipeline Leak

Three simultaneous leaks occurred on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 Pipelines off the Danish Island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea.
These offshore natural gas pipelines are strategically important in providing gas connectivity between Russia and Europe.

1355
2min Read

On Tuesday i.e. September 27th, three simultaneous leaks occurred on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 Pipelines off the Danish Island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea. These offshore natural gas pipelines are strategically important in providing gas connectivity between Russia and Europe. The reason for the leak is not yet clear while the experts suspect sabotage amid the ongoing geopolitical tensions.

Background of Nord Stream Pipelines

Nord Stream twin gas pipelines run between Russia(Vyborg city) and Europe via Germany(Greifswald city). It was built and is currently operated by Nord Stream AG, an international consortium of five major companies established in 2005. Russian-owned Gazprom international project LLC holds a 51 percent stake in the pipeline project. 

Transportation of gas through pipelines 1 and 2 began in November 2011 and October 2012 respectively. The 1124-kilometer offshore pipeline has a combined capacity to transport a total of 55 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas a year to the European Union for at least 50 years. Thus strengthening the European energy market and reinforcing the security of supply. 

Suspected sabotage – Russia, Europe, or the US?

Soon after the unprecedented pipeline leak, various experts and analysts are suspecting the involvement of the US, considering the shreds of evidence from the past. In February this year, US President Joe Biden in his speech warned to ‘bring an end’ to the Nord Stream, if Russia invades the Ukrainian borders. Later in the same month, Russia invaded Ukraine, thus commencing the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. 

Another suspicious tweet by the former Polish Defense Minister Radek Sikorski, who posted a picture of the Nord Stream pipeline leak and thanked the US for the same, draws attention to the involvement of the latter in the pipeline leak.

Russia has been a major partner to the EU in supplying natural gas to the region. In 2021, 40 percent of the EU’s natural gas needs were met through the Russian gas supply. Although heavy sanctions were imposed on Russia after it invaded Ukraine this year. Soon after which, Russia stopped delivering gas to Europe via Nord Stream 1. Gas supply through Nord Stream 2 was also scrapped by Germany days before Russia sent its troops into Ukraine. 

EU is now accusing Russia of using Nord Stream, only to ‘blackmail or wage war on Eastern Europe with impunity’ 

In March this year, European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen along with U.S. President Joe Biden announced the formation of a joint task force where the US will provide at least 15 bcm more natural gas to Europe, to reduce the EU’s dependence on Russia. 

European Union lately has been facing a major energy crisis after Russia cut back on its supply of natural gas to the region. The current Nord Stream leak has further added to the EU’s Natural Gas Crisis. To counter the same, Poland inaugurated the Baltic Pipe Project just after a day after its leak, which will bring 10 bcm of Norwegian gas to Poland per year. 

Indian External Affairs Foreign S Jaishankar in one of his interactive sessions had indirectly taken a jib at the Western nations for funding Russia in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, by paying for the Russian gas. 

No formal information has yet been released as to who will conduct the investigation of the ‘rare’ incident of the Nord Stream pipeline leak. There are only suspects and analyses that there might be a case of sabotage with the involvement of a leading global power.

Shreya Arora
Shreya Arora

Researcher | Content-Writer
~"Learn continually - there's always 'one more thing' to learn!"

All Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts

Popular Posts

Video Posts