CNN’s White House and national security reporter Natasha Bertrand said the Biden administration “is not going to speculate on the cause” of the Nord Stream pipeline system damage to NS1 and NS2.
“The US stands ready to support European partners’ efforts as they investigate,” Bertrand said.
Another CNN national security reporter, Kylie Atwood, tweeted that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said it would be “in no one’s interest” if NS leaks were confirmed as the result of an attack or sabotage.
Remember what Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland said earlier this year…
* * *
AFP News reported the US is ‘ready to provide support’ to Europe after the Nord Stream pipeline system leaks.
There was no further information on what type of support, but one can only imagine it would involve increased LNG cargo shipments to the EU.
There’s only one issue…
* * *
Swedish broadcaster SVT reported that the Swedish National Seismic Network detected two underwater explosions near the Nord Stream pipeline system 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,” SVT said.
Bjorn Lund, a professor in seismology and director of the Swedish National Seismic Network, said these two seismic events were explosions.
Here’s a map of the three leaks on the Nord Stream pipeline system.
Bloomberg’s Javier Blas said the size of the “gas leak is huge.”
So the question remains what (or who) caused the blasts?
Remember what President Biden said weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine:
“If Russia invades…then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.”
* * *
Swedish daily newspaper Aftonbaldet quoted the Swedish Defense Force’s chief of operations, Michael Claesson, who said it’s not ruled out that there’s a connection to the gas leaks and Russia’s mobilization last week.
Claesson then told the paper that the incident was a “military matter.”
* * *
Danish Defense Forces published the first images of the gas leaks from the Nord Stream pipeline system near the exclusive economic zone southeast of Bornholm island, according to the Swedish daily newspaper Aftonbaldet.
The first images show a large surface area of gas bubbles in the Baltic Sea.
Here are more images of one of the leaks.
Another leak was reported by the Danish Defense Forces to be 1 kilometer in diameter on the surface water.
This is an absolutely massive leak.
A handful of EU officials suspect the pipelines were sabotaged.
* * *
Sweden’s government held a crisis management meeting with other public authorities over the damage to the Nord Stream pipeline system, Swedish daily newspaper Aftonbaldet said, citing comments from Foreign Minister Ann Linde.
Linde said Sweden may discuss the pipeline damage with Denmark later today.
Denmark is tightening security around all energy assets as some European officials speculate the NS pipeline system was sabotaged.
* * *
The plot thickens about what caused damage to three lines of the Nord Stream gas-pipeline system under the Baltic Sea to Europe as some European officials now suspect sabotage.
Nord Stream AG, the operator of the NS pipeline system, published a statement Tuesday that read, “the destruction that happened within one day at three lines of the Nord Stream pipeline system is unprecedented … and impossible now to estimate the timeframe for restoring operations of the gas shipment infrastructure.”
On Monday, NS2 gas pipeline and two NS1 lines reported rapid pressure drops, with gas leaks reported by Swedish and Danish authorities in the Baltic Sea near the exclusive economic zone southeast of Bornholm island.
A more in-depth view of the incident area.
Pressure drops in the NS gas-pipeline system could be the biggest signal that flows via NS1 might not resume this winter. Germany and surrounding countries are investigating the incident. NS2 cannot impact flows to the EU because the controversial idled conduit was never operational after German Chancellor Olaf Scholz canceled it after Russia invaded Ukraine earlier this year.
Klaus Mueller, the president of the German energy network regulator, tweeted that the market situation remains “tense,” but Germany and the EU are no longer dependent on NS supplies.
Nord Stream AG issued an outage message that is active until Oct. 26, while the German economy ministry said it’s investigating the incident.
Dutch front-month gas, the European benchmark, was up nearly 10% at 190.50 euros per megawatt-hour on Tuesday morning.
The simultaneous pressure drop of the NS lines suggests some market participants may watch for any indication of sabotage.
Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said it was hard to imagine NS gas leaks were caused by a “coincidence.”
Frederiksen didn’t rule out sabotage, though she said it was too early to draw any conclusions, according to Reuters, quoting public broadcaster DR during a visit to Poland.
A German security official told Bloomberg that NS damage appears to be the result of “sabotage.”
The evidence points to a violent act, rather than a technical issue, according to a German security official, who asked not to be identified because the matter is being probed. -Bloomberg
German daily newspaper Tagesspiegel reported that “the Nord Stream pipelines may have been damaged by targeted attacks and leaked as a result.”
A source close to the government, quoted in the newspaper, said, “everything speaks against a coincidence.”
“We cannot imagine a scenario that is not a targeted attack,” the source said.
Die Welt, another German newspaper, reported the timing of the NS damage may suggest sabotage and was unlikely to be an accident.
Reporters asked Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov if the NS system’s pressure drop could be due to sabotage. He responded: “It is impossible to exclude any options.”
There appears to be no immediate end to the gas leak from NS pipelines, according to the Danish national daily newspaper Berlingske, which quoted Danish Energy Authority.
The energy authority said, “a lot of gas is coming out, so it is not a small crack, it’s a really big hole. Nord Stream leaks can be a deliberate act, but it can also be something else, it’s just extremely rare that something like this happens.”
German Government Thinks Russian Gas Pipelines Could Have Been Deliberately Sabotaged
Tagesspiegel newspaper reports that a sudden loss of pressure in three natural gas pipelines between Russia and Germany is likely to have been a “targeted attack” carried out by either Russia or Ukraine.
Pressure in the Nord Stream 2 undersea gas pipeline dropped from 300 to 7 bars on Sunday night, followed by a similar occurrence in Nord Stream 1’s on Monday afternoon.
The sudden drop of pressure in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline may also have caused a gas leak near the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea, a situation being monitored by Danish authorities.
An anonymous source told Tagesspiegel that German authorities “can’t imagine a scenario that isn’t a targeted attack,” and that their assessment has concluded, “Everything speaks against a coincidence.”
The attack had to be deliberate because it would have been carried out by special forces, navy divers or a submarine which were able to reach the bottom of the sea.
The German government believes Russia could have sabotaged its own pipelines as a “false flag” attack to blame it on Ukraine and drive EU energy prices even higher, an outcome that would pile more pressure on European governments.
The attack could also have been carried out by “Ukraine-affiliated forces” to weaken Russia’s critical infrastructure.
“We are in the process of clarifying the situation here,” a government spokeswoman for the federal ministry of economics told the newspaper. “We don’t currently know what caused the pressure drop.”
Nord Stream 2 was recently completed and was set to “double the volume of gas flowing from Vyborg, Russia, under the Baltic Sea to Germany,” the Guardian reports.
Large protests have taken place in major European cities in recent weeks, with demonstrators urging their governments to accept Russian gas to alleviate the cost of living crisis.
“Nord Stream 2 has been literally just sitting there jam-packed with gas ready to be turned on at any moment and deliver billions of dollars worth of dirt cheap Russian gas every year,” writes Chris Menahan.
Thousands of people in Gera in Germany against Olaf Scholz's policy and the explosion of energy and gas prices. They demand an end to sanctions on Russia and the reopening of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. Demonstrations also in other German cities but EU media censors them. pic.twitter.com/dmTMLY11jn
— RadioGenova (@RadioGenova) September 26, 2022
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