Nord Stream pipeline “attacks” risks escalating a natural gas shortage in Europe
Nord Stream 1 pipeline is Europe’s largest gas import infrastructure — importing ~35% of the European Union’s natural gas supply in 2021.
On Monday, explosions were detected at various points of the pipeline, which led to three separate leaks. The leak looks tiny in picture, but the image above shows how big it actually is.
Is the attack accidental or intentional?
- Swedish seismologists said “there is no doubt that these were explosions,” with the second having over “100 kilos (kg) of dynamite.”
- Many European leaders are also ruling this as “an act of sabotage,” with Norway amping up their security at oil and gas installations.
Everyone is pointing fingers at each other. Russia blamed the U.S. and Ukraine — while Polish and Ukrainian leaders blamed Russia.
The attack has everyone on edge. This risks escalating the situation between Russia, Ukraine and Ukraine’s allies. It puts Europe in an even more delicate position, especially when it’s already dealing with a natural gas shortage which sent electricity prices soaring.
After the attack, natural gas prices briefly spiked 12% before falling back down. Here’s the relief:
- The impact to supply isn’t expected to be large, as the Nord Stream 1 pipeline has already been shut down since August.
- S&P Global Commodity Insights has assumed that Russian gas to Europe will go to zero by the end of the year (BBG).