Sweden, Denmark to Open Inquiry into Unexplained Nord Stream Gas Leaks

European countries set to investigate unexplained leaks in two Russian pipelines, Nord Stream 1 and 2, running under the Baltic Sea near Sweden and Denmark. The pipelines have been at the heart of an energy crisis since Russia invaded Ukraine. Sweden’s Maritime Authority issued a warning about two leaks in the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, shortly after a leak on the nearby Nord Stream 2 pipeline was discovered that had prompted Denmark to restrict shipping in a five nautical mile radius.

Currently, neither of the two is pumping gas to Europe but both still contain gas under pressure. The incidents will hinder any effort to start or restart either pipeline for commercial operations.

“Yesterday, a leak was detected on one of the two gas pipelines between Russia and Denmark – Nord Stream 2. The pipeline is not in operation, but contains natural gas, which is now leaking,” Denmark’s energy minister Jørgensen said.

“Authorities have now been informed that there have been 2 more leaks on Nord Stream 1, which is also not in operation but contains gas,” he added.

Russia first cut gas supplies via Nord Stream 1 to Europe before suspending deliveries altogether in August, blaming Western sanctions for causing technical difficulties. Many European politicians and EU officials say that’s a pretext to stop gas supplies and accuse Russia of weaponizing energy.

The newer Nord Stream 2 pipeline had been completed in September last year but had not entered commercial operations. The pipeline was shelved by Germany days before Russia launched its invasion on Ukraine in February.

The Swedish Maritime Authority (SMA) said there are two leaks on Nord Stream 1 that are very near each other. On of those is in Swedish economic zone and the other in Danish economic zone, according to the SMA.

The incident occurred at a time when the Baltic Pipe, a new subsea pipeline delivering Norwegian gas to Poland with an annual capacity of 10 billion cubic meters per day, is due to be inaugurated later on Tuesday.

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