Denmark and Sweden challenge navigation warnings over Nord Stream fuel leaks

Danish and Swedish authorities have issued navigation warnings after two fuel leaks had been recognized on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which the Kremlin shut down earlier this month for an indefinite time period in retaliation for Western sanctions.

The warnings got here shortly after a separate fuel leak was detected on a second pipeline Nord Stream 2, a extremely controversial mission that was frozen by the German authorities days previous to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and by no means grew to become operational.

Neither pipeline is at the moment carrying fuel to Europe, though a sure stage of provides stays contained in the infrastructure.

The trigger behind the leaks was not instantly clear. 

“The explanations are being investigated,” Nord Stream AG, the consortium liable for the pipelines, mentioned on its web site, with out giving additional particulars.

The primary leak, by means of Nord Stream 2, was detected on Monday night time within the pipeline’s Danish part of the Baltic Sea after a “main stress drop.”

The Danish Maritime Authority launched a navigational warning and established a prohibitive zone inside 5 nautical miles (round 9 km) from the positioning, contemplating the leak might pose a hazard to naval site visitors.

The German authorities obtained in contact with the Danish authorities to search out out the explanations behind the problem.

Hours later, two leaks had been recognized on Nord Stream 1, one within the Danish financial zone and one other one within the Swedish financial zone of the Baltic Sea.

“Breakage of fuel pipelines is extraordinarily uncommon, and subsequently we see purpose to lift the preparedness stage on account of the incidents now we have seen over the previous 24 hours,” mentioned Kristoffer Bötzauw, director of the Danish Power Company.

The company famous that since not one of the pipelines had been carrying fuel to Denmark, the nation’s safety of provide was not in danger. Nevertheless, leaked fuel can entail security and well being penalties for travellers and likewise ignite above water and within the air, inflicting explosions.

Sweden reacted in an identical method and issued a navigation warning, asking vessels to maintain a “secure distance” from the 5 nautical mile radius, southeast of Bornholm.

The Swedish Maritime Administration additionally despatched a warning for plane, introducing a security altitude of 1,000 metres above the involved areas.

Nord Steam 1 has the capability to hold as much as 170 million cubic metres of fuel per day (or 55 billion cubic metres per 12 months). Russia has been accused of manipulating flows after being hit with EU sanctions within the aftermath of the Ukraine conflict. Flows reached 20% of complete capability in the summertime earlier than the pipeline was completely shut down.

Nord Steam 2 was alleged to double this capability to an annual 110 billion cubic metres.

Klaus Müller, the president of the German community regulator, mentioned on Twitter the occasions underlined the regulator’s evaluation that the state of affairs is “tense.”

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