A large section of the Nord Stream pipe needs to be replaced so that the gas pipeline from Russia to Germany can be in a ready-operational state again, Gazprom’s chief executive Alexey Miller has told Russian state TV in an interview. “Experts say that in order to restore operations after such a terrorist act, a very large portion of the pipe needs to be cut, at a great distance, and in fact build a new section on this section,” Miller told Russia’s Channel One TV.
“And in order to restore integrity, it must be raised, this pipe. And you understand, it is one thing when the pipe is hollow, yes, and another thing when it is filled with seawater for hundreds of kilometers,” Miller added.
Russia has said that the explosions on the Nord Stream pipelines and the leaks that followed were the result of a “terrorist act,” while the West says there is evidence of sabotage.
At the time of the explosions at the end of September, no gas was being shipped via either Nord Stream 1 or Nord Stream 2.
Nord Stream 2 was never put into operation after Germany axed the certification process following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russia, for its part, shut down Nord Stream 1 indefinitely in early September, claiming an inability to repair gas turbines because of the Western sanctions.
Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that Russia was ready to supply gas to Europe on the one undamaged line on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline if the EU wants to start the route.
Putin also said that repairing the Nord Stream 1 and 2 lines would only make sense if they will be used later, Russian news agency Interfax quoted the Russian president as saying.
Before the Nord Stream 1 and 2 leaks were detected, Putin said that Russia had nothing to do with Europe’s energy crisis and that if Europe wanted more gas, it just had to “push the button” on Nord Stream 2, and “everything will get going,” that is, lift the sanctions on Nord Stream 2.
A few days later, Stephan Weil, Minister-President of the northwestern German state of Lower Saxony, said that Germany could never rely on Russia for energy supply again, and the Nord Stream 2 project would never go ahead.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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