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One of the four lines of the Russian Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines could still be able to ship gas to Europe if Nord Stream 2 receives all necessary certification, Russian analysts told Reuters on Wednesday.
Three of the lines were damaged in mysterious circumstances earlier this week. Denmark, Sweden, Germany, and the EU as a whole believe the gas leaks from the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in the Baltic Sea were the result of a deliberate act of sabotage and not an accident or a mere technical failure.
Danish and Swedish authorities are investigating the gas leaks, while Russia said on Tuesday that sabotage cannot be ruled out right now.
Russia shut down Nord Stream 1 indefinitely early this month, claiming an inability to repair gas turbines because of the Western sanctions. The twin pipeline of Nord Stream 1, Nord Stream 2 was never put into operation after Germany suspended the certification process after Russia invaded Ukraine.
Nord Stream AG, the operator, said on Tuesday that “The significant pressure drop caused by the gas leak on both lines of the gas pipeline registered yesterday leads to a strong assumption of the pipeline physical damage.”
One line of Nord Stream 2 could still be intact and could send gas to Europe if it receives all certifications, Alexei Grivach of the Moscow-based National Energy Security Fund told Reuters on Wednesday.
“In theory, in case of a political decision and by tuning in the gas processing equipment, supplies via the link are possible,” Igor Galaktionov of brokerage BCS Mir Investitsiy told Reuters.
Germany, however, suspended the Nord Stream 2 project in February after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into Ukraine. Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the pipeline construction was complete, but Nord Stream 2 was awaiting full regulatory clearance from Germany and a review by the European Union over its compliance with EU energy regulations.
Last week, 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 gas pipeline project would never go ahead.
Putin, for his part, said earlier this month 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.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com