The Nord Stream 2 pipeline appears to have stopped leaking

COPENHAGEN – The Danish Energy Agency says one in two ruptured natural gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea appears to have stopped leaking natural gas.

The agency said on Twitter on Saturday that it had been informed by the company that operates the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that pressure in the pipeline, which runs from Russia to Germany, appears to have stabilized.

“This indicates that gas leaks in this pipeline have stopped,” the Danish Energy Agency said.

Underwater explosions that damaged the Nord Stream I and 2 pipelines this week have led to huge methane leaks. Nordic investigators said several hundred pounds of explosives were involved in the blasts.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday accused the West of sabotaging Russian-built pipelines, an accusation vehemently denied by the United States and its allies.

Clashes between the US and Russia later continued at an emergency UN Security Council meeting in New York called by Russia on the pipeline attacks and when Norwegian researchers released a map predicting that a huge plume of methane from the damaged pipelines will travel across much of the Nordic region.

On Friday in Moscow, Putin claimed that the “Anglo-Saxons” in the West had gone from imposing sanctions on Russia to “terrorist attacks” and sabotaging the pipelines, in what he described as an attempt to “destroy Europe’s energy infrastructure.”

In Washington, US President Joe Biden dismissed Putin’s pipeline claims as outlandish.

“It was a deliberate act of sabotage. And now the Russians are spreading disinformation and lies. We will work with our allies to find out exactly what happened,” Biden promised. “Just don’t listen to what Putin says. We know what he says is not true.”

US officials said the Putin claim was trying to divert attention from his annexation of parts of Ukraine on Friday.

“We will not allow Russia’s disinformation to distract us or the world from its patently fraudulent attempt to annex sovereign Ukrainian territory,” White House National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said on Friday.

European nations that have been Tumbling under rising energy prices caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have found that Russia, not Europe, is benefiting from the chaos in energy markets and rising energy prices.

The US has long opposed the two pipelines, repeatedly urging Germany to stop them, saying they would have increased Europe’s energy dependency on Russia and lowered his security. Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine in February Russia has cut gas supplies sent to Europe to heat houses, generate electricity and run factories. European leaders have accused Putin of using “energy blackmail” to divide them over their strong support for Ukraine.

The attacks on the pipelines have prompted energy companies and European governments to tighten security around energy infrastructure.


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Sarah Y. Kim

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