Sergey Kondratiev, Deputy Head of the Economic Department of the Institute for Energy and Finance, commented to the NEWS.ru Internet portal on the accident’s consequences at the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines.
On Monday, the pressure on one line of Nord Stream 2 and on both lines of Nord Stream 1 dropped sharply. On Tuesday, even representatives of the German government anonymously said that the cause was sabotage.
- Now they are discussing different versions of what happened - from the anchor of a random ship that fell on the pipe to the work of underwater saboteurs. What is your opinion?
- Until yesterday, there were no similar accidents with through damage and gas leakage in the world, and even on such a scale. It is very strange that this happened on three branches almost simultaneously. I think this is external and intentional damage.
— How long will the repair of the Nord Streams take?
- One and a half to two years at least. The simpler case of the China-Hong Kong Yacheng gas pipeline required four years of repair. That is, in the long term for the European market, an accident can be a problem. And certain forces in Europe expected that deliveries via SP-1 would be restored in the coming months.
- What will the restoration of gas pipelines cost?
- It is important here what results the investigation will come to. If this is a terrorist attack, then you can try to identify the culprit of the incident. And here Gazprom can count on a claim for damages. If this accident is related to the operation of the gas pipeline, this will mean expenses of tens of millions of dollars that may fall on the operators of these gas pipelines - Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2. Plus, some volume of gas was simply lost: to fill only one branch SP-2 requires 177 million cubic meters of technical gas. It is very difficult to calculate the exact amounts of cumulative losses; this has never happened before in world practice.
In addition, the Baltic Sea is a region with very complex environmental regulation. Work will require permits from the Danish and possibly Swedish environmental authorities.
- What does all this mean for heating in Europe?
- The Europeans probably had an optimistic scenario that they would come to an agreement, gas supplies via Nord Stream would resume, prices would drop. And now it is technically impossible. Now the high prices for gas in Europe will keep these one and a half to two years.
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