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Nord Stream 2 pipeline has stopped leaking gas

The UK Prime Minister was updated on the latest situation in the Baltic by her Danish counterpart Mette Fredriksen.

Image: Alamy

Updated Oct 1st 2022, 5:28 PM

THE NORD STREAM 2 pipeline is no longer leaking under the Baltic Sea because an equilibrium has been reached between the gas and water pressure, a spokesman has said.

“The water pressure has more or less closed the pipeline so that the gas which is inside can’t go out,” Nord Stream 2 spokesman Ulrich Lissek told the AFP news agency. “The conclusion is that there is still gas in the pipeline.”

Asked how much gas was believed to be in the pipeline, Lissek said: “That is the one-million-dollar question.”

Information on the status of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline leak, which was significantly larger, was not immediately available.

The Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, which connect Russia to Germany, have been at the centre of geopolitical tensions as Russia cut gas supplies to Europe in suspected retaliation against Western sanctions following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

While the pipelines are not currently in operation, they both still contained gas before they fell victim to apparent sabotage, producing four leaks.

Gas nearly exhausted
A Danish-Swedish report released yesterday concluded the leaks were caused by underwater explosions corresponding to hundreds of kilogrammes of explosives.

“All available information indicates that those explosions are the result of a deliberate act,” the countries said.

The source of the explosions has remained a mystery, however, with both Moscow and Washington denying responsibility.

All the leaks, which were discovered on Monday, are in the Baltic Sea off the Danish island of Bornholm.

Two of the leaks are located in the Swedish exclusive economic zone, and the two others in the Danish one.

Lissek said Nord Stream 2 had informed the Danish energy regulator earlier Saturday that the pipeline had stopped leaking gas.

Danish authorities had said the leaks would continue until the gas in the pipelines is exhausted, which is expected to occur on Sunday.

The Swedish coastguard said late yesterday that the leaks on Nord Stream 2 showed signs of weakening due to the exhaustion of the gas contained in the pipes.

The diameter of the sea surface “boiling” caused by the leak in the Swedish exclusive economic zone was now only 20 metres (66 feet) wide, 10 times smaller than at the start.

The leak on Nord Stream 1 had also started to weaken on Friday, with surface diameter down to 600 metres in diameter, down from between 900 and 1,000 metres on Monday.

‘Act of sabotage’
UK Prime Minister Liz Truss said earlier today that the series of explosions were “clearly an act of sabotage”.

Truss was updated on the latest situation in the Baltic Sea in talks with her Danish counterpart Mette Fredriksen in Downing Street today.

Following Truss’s meeting with Fredriksen, a No 10 spokesman said: “The leaders stressed the need to stay united in the face of Russia’s despicable action in Ukraine.

“They agreed the incidents were clearly an act of sabotage. The Prime Minister offered the UK’s support for the ongoing investigation.”

Speaking to reporters outside No 10, Frederiksen said: “One of the reasons why I’m here today is because of the situation in the Baltic Sea, with Nord Stream 1 and 2.

“I was able to give some details about what has happened in Denmark, or just outside Denmark.

“Of course, it has been very important for me to underline that the Danish authorities have said that this is not an accident.

“This is sabotage and it is critical infrastructure. So of course, this is a very serious situation.”

Neither leader sought to attribute responsibility for the incident.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz had said yesterday that Berlin would “support the joint investigation” of the incident with Denmark and Sweden, in a video call with counterparts from both countries.

Additional reporting by PA

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