Nord Stream infrastructure

Coincidence or sabotage: Mystery gas leakages from Nord Streams

European countries suspect sabotage as mystery gas leakages struck Russian pipelines of Nord Streams. This ‘unprecedented’ damage to the gas pipelines, as the operator said, happens while Europe is in the midst of a struggle to find alternative supplies to Russian gas. Thus officials, like Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, say – this is sabotage.

Nord Streams and their two pipelines under the Baltic Sea are the most important infrastructure for powering north Europe’s industry.

Both pipelines have been a part of an escalating energy war between Europe and Moscow since Russia invaded Ukraine. This energy war caused gas prices are going up on the markets and urged European governments to search for alternative energy supplies.

That is why European countries hurry to investigate the real reason for this unexplained gas leakage. They suspect Russia is using this infrastructure as a “weapon” of revenge against imposed sanctions amid the Ukraine crisis.

It becomes obvious that there is no room for negotiations for Europe to get Russian gas supplies for the winter. The pipelines during the incidents were not in function, but there was still gas under pressure in the pipes. Thus, the possibility of a serious accident was present.

No mystery in mystery gas leakages

The network operator Nord Stream AG stated that this destruction of the three strings of the offshore Nord Streams’ gas installation system is unprecedented.

This is in line with a note by the Eurasia Group. They say said unplanned multiple undersea to undersea pipelines were rare. According to Eurasia Group, the large-scale damage can cause a permanent closure of the pipelines.

Russia reduced gas supplies to Europe through Nord Stream 1 before suspending supply in August. The new Nord Stream 2 pipeline did not even start commercial operations. It was supposed to begin gas supply days before the war in Ukraine began.

Possible environmental and economic consequences 

The damage to the economy and environment can be immense. Ships must not enter the area because there is a risk of leaked gas ignition.

The gas leak would affect the environment in the area where the pipeline passes. Methane emissions, like all greenhouse gas emissions, would have a negative impact on the climate.