Tuesday, February 20

Russian gas pipeline operator Nord Stream 2 says leak has been stopped

The company Nord Stream 2 has affirmed this Saturday that the gas leaks detected in the Russian submarine pipeline have stopped. A spokesman for the company has reported, according to the AFP agency, that the pressure of the gas and the water have reached a point of balance that prevents the material from continuing to flow from the pipeline to the sea as it has until now.

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This filtration suspension only affects the second of the two Russian Nord Stream pipelines. The Danish and Swedish governments this week detected several leaks in the two pipes, which connect Russia and Germany energetically, a highly unlikely event that has led the powers involved, as well as the United States and Russia, to speak of “sabotage”.

Since the leaks were detected, the gas has been emanating towards the surface of the water uninterruptedly and has formed over the sea, when it comes into contact with the atmosphere, a pool of bubbles more than a kilometer in diameter. Natural gas is essentially composed of methane, which has raised the concern of international organizations about the possible climate impact that leaks may have.

Before the communication of the Nord Stream 2 spokesman, Denmark has released a statement in which he said that the Russian pipeline had already expelled all the gas that it housed inside. The Danish authorities have reported that, apparently, the gas has stopped emanating from the second tube after the material it contained has been exhausted. “The Nord Stream consortium has informed the Danish Directorate General for Energy that it seems that a stable pressure has been reached in the Nord Stream 2 pipes. This indicates that the gas leak has come to an end”, it has communicated. in its account on the social network Twitter this Danish body.

Interpretations therefore differ on whether the gas inside the conduit has completely escaped to the outside of the pipe or instead the pressure of the water has exceeded that of the remaining gas.

The Danish authorities reported four days ago that more than half of the gas had already left the two tubes and that the flow could stop this Sunday, which would allow underwater exploration to begin. In their previous forecast yesterday, they pointed out that the Nord Stream 2 could be empty of gas today and that the other conduit would do so tomorrow.

Nord Stream is a set of two gas pipelines that directly connect the Russian cities of Vyborg and Ust-Luga with Germany. With a length of 1,224 kilometers, together they have a capacity to transport 110,000 million cubic meters of gas per year (the entire EU consumes around 397,000 million cubic meters of gas).

The electricity and gas sectors of Denmark and Sweden have raised the alarm level on their facilities due to leaks and the same has been done by neighboring Norway, despite the fact that it does not have a coast in the Baltic, including a military presence. Neither of the two gas pipelines was in service when the accidents occurred.

The first interrupted supplies weeks ago, citing Moscow technical problems, while the second never came into operation, since Foreign Minister Olaf Scholz blocked it as a result of Moscow’s recognition of the self-proclaimed separatist republics of Donbas, in February, shortly before of the start of the war.

Both the affected countries and the rest of the European Union (EU), the United States and Russia speak of sabotage, although they differ as to the possible perpetrator. Moscow has accused the Anglo-Saxons of being behind it, stressing years of pressure from Washington to paralyze the project, while some Western countries have pointed in the opposite direction.