Nordstream 1 and 2 pipelines in the Baltic Sea have been damaged by explosions in an apparent act of sabotage, and both are out of service for the foreseeable future. The pipelines, which connect Russian natural gas terminals to northern Germany, have 1.6″ thick walls with additional concrete reinforcements designed to prevent accidental rupture.
Joe Biden had threatened Russia against invading Ukraine, saying, “If Russia invades… there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2… We will bring an end to it.” Now Biden is calling the incident a ‘deliberate act of sabotage.’ In a speech on 9/30, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, “Those who benefit are responsible, of course,” and that by doing so they had “embarked on the destruction of Europe’s entire energy infrastructure.”
Nordstream 2 has been prevented from delivering natural gas to Germany since sanctions against Russia by the West were imposed, and Nordstream 1, the source of 40% of Germany’s NatGas, was, according to Russia, shut down for repair of serious oil leaks in a turbine that powers gas through the line. The damage to the two lines is considered quite severe; estimates vary on the amount of time that will be needed to complete repairs, if repair is possible.
The attack came just one day after thousands of Germans had protested for the opening of Nord Stream 2, thus removing the prime rationale for Germany to reopen negotiations with Russia. With these two pipelines out of operation, Germany will experience a severe shortage of energy this winter for industrial use and home heating, and the millions in Europe that are dependent on the flow of that natural gas are now at risk of freezing for the winter.