Nord Stream operator finds technogenic craters at damaged pipeline

Nord Stream operator finds ‘technogenic craters’ at damaged pipeline

The Switzerland-based Nord Stream AG has found technogenic craters at the damaged parts of the Nord Stream gas pipeline during site inspections in the Baltic Sea.

Bubbles on the water surface above the leaks. Source: Danish Defense

The company reported on 2 November that it had completed initial data gathering at the location of the pipeline damage on Line 1 in the Swedish exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

According to preliminary results of the damage site inspection, technogenic craters with a depth of three to five meters were found on the seabed at a distance of about 248 meters from each other.

Nord Stream AG stated that the section of the pipe between the craters is destroyed and the radius of pipe fragments dispersion is at least 250 meters.

Analysis of the survey data continues, the Swiss company added.

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The Nord Stream twin pipeline system runs from Vyborg, Russia, to Lubmin near Greifswald, Germany. The route crosses the EEZs of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany, as well as the territorial waters of Russia, Denmark, and Germany.

Four gas leaks were found on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in September, two in Sweden’s EEZ and two in the Danish territory.

European authorities stated they are suspecting that the incident could be the result of “deliberate actions” after the Norwegian and Swedish seismic institutes had confirmed that underwater blasts preceded the leaks.

Gas leaks stopped at the beginning of October after stable pressure was achieved, followed by the kick-off of the damage assessment.

Neither of the two pipelines were operational at the time. Russia shut Nord Stream 1 at the end of August and German chancellor Olaf Scholz halted the process of certifying Nord Stream 2 earlier this year due to the crisis in Ukraine.