North Stream pipeline operator said it was unable to immediately assess damages after Swedish Coast Guard reported the discovery of an additional leak on the pipeline system in the Baltic Sea. This was later confirmed by the Danish Energy Agency, and thereby four leaks in total have been detected – 2 leaks on the Swedish side and two leaks on the Danish side.
As reported by Yahoo News, the operator further stated that it intended to start assessing damages as soon as it received official permits, and said access could be allowed after the pressure in the gas pipeline has stabilized and the leakage itself has stopped.
– “Until the completion of the damage assessment, it is not possible to predict the timeframe for restoration of the gas transmission infrastructure,” the operator said.
Kristoffer Böttzauw, Director at Danish Energy Agency, said the “new” leak happened on a pipe on North Stream 2 which were already damaged, leaving yet one intact gas pipe on the system. Further, the leak happened in Sweden’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), while the previous leak was detected in Denmark’s Exclusive Economic Zone. On North Stream 1, leaks have been detected on both pipes – one leak in Denmark’s zone and one in Sweden’s zone. This was reported by Danish daily newspaper, Politiken.
– “Putting it bluntly, it means that the gas in the pipe already damaged is leaking a bit faster” he told Danish daily newspaper, Politiken.
The leaks have prompted geopolitical tensions with NATO declaring “irresponsible acts of sabotage”, the Western alliance warning of being prepared to “deter and defend against the use of energy and other hybrid tactics” and Russian President Vladimir Putin blaming the leaks on “international terrorism”.
Russia has dismissed accusations of being behind the explosions causing the leaks and has launched an international terrorism investigation while urging Washington to answer whether it was behind the leaks. This suggestion was rejected by the United States as “ridiculous.”
On Russia’s request, The United Nations Security Council will meet today, Friday, to discuss the matter.