Sabotage suspected after unexplained leaks at Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea

Some of the questions raised by the spectacular leaks at the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines

Who might have tampered with the Nord Stream?

Although the Kremlin has condemned the incident, all eyes are on Moscow. It may have been so “Creating additional pressure on gas market”Agence France-Presse (AFP) told Simone Tagliapietra, a researcher at the Bruegel think tank.

Russia can “Using vandalism as an excuse” Don’t resume deliveries, advances to AFP Tor Ivar Stroman, a researcher at the Royal Norwegian Naval Academy. But making pipes unusable means losing pressure equipment: “If it’s the Russians, why do it in three pipes? »asks Thierry Brothers, an energy expert and editor at Science Poe Paris.

What are the consequences for gas supply?

In the short term, it won’t change anything. Moscow has already stopped supplying gas to Europe via Nord Stream 1, citing a technical problem with the more than 1,000 kilometer pipeline linking Russia to Germany. The Dutch TTF, which serves as a benchmark, took 10% before starting to fall again. This weak response is actually explained “Most Market Players” This is “Relied heavily on Russian deliveries” According to Lion Hirth, an expert at the Herti School in Berlin, gas.

In the long run, these incidents seem to drive the final nail in Russia’s coffin for gas flows to Europe. “Earlier, it was not possible to resume deliveries through Nord Stream. It has become impossible.”, summarizes Johan Lillistam to AFP. Substantial sums will be required to rebuild the pipes that filled with water in recent hours, Thierry Brothers underlines. “It is impossible to recover them (…), Spending so much money to repair pipelines connecting us to Russia is unimaginable.Expert assesses.

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What is the impact on infrastructure security?

“What happens in the Baltic Sea also happens well in the North Sea and the Mediterranean”University of Darmstadt researcher AFP Sebastian told the Herald. “Deliveries from Norway and Algeria vulnerable”, he adds. Both countries have become important suppliers to Europe since invading Ukraine to reduce dependence on Russian gas.

“For Europe, whoever the author is, this is a warning. We must be prepared to monitor our pipelines carefully.Thierry Brothers says. “This is a stark reminder of the exposure of Europe’s gas infrastructure”, Simon Tagliapietra is abundant. In a 2020 report, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) already emphasized the need “Protect critical infrastructure [énergétiques] To increase resilience” Allied countries.

What is the risk to the environment?

Leaks will be released “Several million tons of CO equivalents2 » atmosphere, Sascha Müller-Kraenner of the German environmental NGO DUH told AFP. But, the released gas will be methane “Dramatic Effects” On global warming, he added. If the leaks are not repaired, there is a risk of an explosion on the surface of the water: as a result, authorities have banned sailing and flying in the affected areas.

For marine fauna and flora, on the other hand, the effects are less severe. “Methane doesn’t dissolve in water, so luckily there’s nothing to worry about.”says the Ministry of Environment.

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