Alexey Gromov, Principal Director on Energy Studies of the Institute for Energy and Finance, commented to Forbes on the possible consequences of the accident/sabotage at Nord Streams.
The Danish Energy Agency reported on Monday, September 26, about a leak on one of the two strings of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in the Danish part of the Baltic Sea near the island of Bornholm. The Danish Maritime Authority has established an exclusion zone within five nautical miles of the pipeline. At the same time, the Nord Stream 1 operator Nord Stream AG reported a pressure drop on both strings of this gas pipeline. There was no information about the causes of the accident.
He notes that the thickness and quality of the steel from which the pipes for Nord Stream 2 are made, in principle, exclude the possibility of this kind of leakage, even if the pipe is touched by the anchor of a ship or if some other accidental impact occurs.
“I regard the probability of a technogenic disaster as low, although, of course, we must wait for the results of the investigation,” Aleksey Gromov says.
Information about the sabotage cannot be discounted, because we are now entering the autumn-winter heating season, Gromov adds. Nord Stream 1 is not working and, apparently, will not be able to start working during this season, because neither side wants to meet the other,” he says. The Russian side has repeatedly said that it is ready to supply gas to Europe via Nord Stream 2 at any time. In the context of the Nord Stream 1 shutdown, a cold winter and a difficult economic situation in Europe, one could expect increased public and business pressure on EU regulators to use Nord Stream 2 and in the short term solve the problem of shortages in the European gas market. But in the current situation, when there was an absolutely incomprehensible accident at Nord Stream 2, it is no longer possible to talk about such a possibility.
“Causes of a natural nature are unlikely, because Gazprom's underwater gas pipelines are made to the highest DNV standards (DNV GL AS is the largest certification and classification international company in the field of production, processing and transportation of gas and oil, - Forbes) and have 200-300% margin of safety, the expert says. — Pipes for Nord Stream 1 were also selected based on the highest reliability standards at the time of its commissioning. In working on these underwater projects, Gazprom took the best technologies available on the market and relied on the technical reliability of this mode of transportation.”
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