Leaks from the Nord Stream 1 pipeline has finally stopped after three separate ruptures were discovered in the natural gas lines last week, the Danish Energy Agency said on 2 October.
Nord Stream AG told the agency that ‘a stable pressure now appears to have been achieved on the two Nord Stream 1 pipelines,’ meaning that gas is no longer flowing out of them. Several news outlets reported that the company said that pressure from water entering the ruptured pipelines had stopped the gas from leaking, but this claim has not yet been independently verified.
The two major lines – which were built to deliver natural gas from Russia to Germany – ruptured in three separate places last week after explosions under the Baltic Sea.
Although the official cause has not been identified, political leaders in Europe and the United States have suggested that the incident was an act of sabotage, and much of the speculation about responsibility has focused on Russia, whose state-controlled energy company, Gazprom, is the main owner of the pipelines.
Russian president Vladimir Putin dismissed the notion of Russian sabotage as ‘stupid’ and counter-suggested that the United States was behind the attacks.
The pipelines have been a focal point of the broader confrontation between Russia and Europe. After the EU imposed economic sanctions on Russia, Moscow began withholding its natural gas, threatening the continent’s energy supply.
The German government shelved the Nord Stream 2 project in February, when Russia began its invasion of Ukraine. And Nord Stream 1 appears to be part of a larger Russian strategy of leveraging energy against Europe as punishment for opposing the war.
Nord Stream 1 has not moved gas into Europe for weeks, with Russia citing maintenance reasons for closing the line. Europe widely interprets the shut-off as a threat that Russia could cut off Ukraine’s allies from its gas supplies as winter approaches.