Published On: Wed, Sep 28th, 2022

Gas pipline leaks around 1/3 of Denmark’s yearly CO2 emissions, E.U. official says



BRUSSELS — The European Union suspects that damage to two underwater natural gas pipelines was sabotage and is warning of retaliation for any attack on Europe’s energy networks, a senior official said Wednesday, as energy companies began ramping up security.

The episode underscored the vulnerability of Europe’s energy infrastructure and further heightened tensions in the continent that has been rocked by thee seven-month war in Ukraine. Poland and some experts said Russia was probably to blame, and could benefit from further market instability.

Seismologists reported that explosions rattled the Baltic Sea before unusual leaks were discovered Tuesday on two underwater natural gas pipelines running from Russia to Germany. The incidents came as the EU struggles to keep a lid on soaring gas and electricity prices.

“All available information indicates those leaks are the result of a deliberate act,” E.U. foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement on behalf of the bloc’s 27 members. “Any deliberate disruption of European energy infrastructure is utterly unacceptable and will be met with a robust and united response.”

Some European leaders and experts pointed to possible sabotage given the energy standoff with Russia. The three leaks were reported on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, which were filled with natural gas but were not delivering the fuel to Europe.

It added that the calculation was based on information from operators Nord Stream AG and Nord Stream 2 AG about the content of natural gas in the three pipelines that are leaking.

Some European officials and energy experts have said Russia is likely to blame since it directly benefits from higher energy prices and economic anxiety across Europe. But others cautioned against pointing fingers until investigators are able to determine what happened.

“As long as there is gas, it dangerous to be there,” Böttzauw said, declining to say when experts would be able to go down and see the pipes, which he said was made of 12-centimeter (5-inch) thick steel coated with concrete. They lie on the seabed between 70 and 90 meters (230 feet and 295 feet) deep.

The leaks all were in international waters. Two are within the Danish exclusive economic zone while the third is in the Swedish equivalent.



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