A Swedish coast guard flight over the two suspected sabotaged gas pipelines stopped the leak from Nord Stream 1, but not Nord Stream 2.
Nord Stream AG, the operator of the submarine pipelines connecting Russia to Germany, announced on Saturday that the leaks in Nord Stream 2 had stopped.
A total of four major leaks releasing tens of thousands of tons of methane have hit the two pipelines off the Danish island of Bornholm since the beginning of last week.
They were located in international waters but two of them are in Sweden’s exclusive economic zone (AOZ) and the other two in Denmark’s EEZ.
According to the Danish authorities, the leaks, which are clearly decreasing, were supposed to stop around the weekend. On the Swedish side, the main spill affected Nord Stream 1, while a smaller one affected Nord Stream 2.
It is the one that remains today, the Coast Guard clarified in a statement. During the flyover carried out this morning around 09:00 “the larger leak was no longer visible but instead the smaller one had increased again”, with a diameter of sea bubbles “about 30 meters”.
In a statement released today, Russian gas giant Gazprom, Nord Stream’s major shareholder, said it is reviewing the integrity of Nord Stream 2’s B line.
The two pipelines 1 and 2 each have two pipes, A and B. In Nord Stream 2, pipe A appears to be the only one damaged with two leaks, according to Danish authorities.
Gazprom even mentions the possibility of a decision to “start deliveries via line B of Nord Stream 2”, which was never put into operation due to the war in Ukraine.
At the moment, the Russian company explains that it is pumping gas that is in the potentially intact line and that “leaks have stopped” in the other lines.
Undersea explosions equivalent to “hundreds of kilograms” of TNT caused the leaks discovered in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in international waters off the island of Bornholm, and “all available information indicates that these explosions are the result of a deliberate act”, Sweden and Denmark said in an official report delivered to the United Nations.
Russia, which is said to be behind the leaks, has hit back since last Wednesday, pointing the finger at the United States and securing the convening of the UN Security Council next Friday.
In another development, Sweden today sent a submarine to the site of Russian gas pipelines in the Baltic that suffered cracks after explosions, as part of an investigation into an incident that has heightened tension in Europe’s energy crisis.
“The coast guard is responsible for the mission, but we are supporting it with units,” Swedish navy spokesman Jimmy Adamson told Reuters. “The only one we are naming is HNS Belos, which is a submarine rescue and diving vessel.”
The Swedish coast guard said the leaks from Nord Stream 1 had stopped, but an overflight showed that gas was still leaking from Nord Stream 2.
The Kremlin today pushed back on accusations that the West was responsible for pipeline damage, saying the United States was able to boost sales and prices of its liquefied natural gas (LNG).