Nord Stream’s repair time assessed

The pipelines can be fixed within several months, reports the Danish TV company

’s gas pipelines, which were damaged and rendered inoperable by underwater explosions in late September, may be repaired within months, according to reports by the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR) citing Sten Ussing, chief engineer at consulting group COWI.

Ussing judged from underwater video footage that the pipes will not be damaged by rust for a while as there is little oxygen at the 80-meter depth where they are. He noted that the fracture surfaces look “very clean and almost shiny,“which suggests that”the pipe will not rust in a few weeks, as would be expected in a more oxygenated environment.”

“We can expect corrosion inside the pipe to be limited as well,” he added.

However, the engineer explained that the explosion caused a pressure increase and that it could have damaged parts of the pipeline some distance from the site, adding that they can be repaired by raising the pipes slightly above the seabed, which would allow underwater welders to remove the damaged parts and replace them with new ones.

It is standard procedure to weld such a piece of pipe under water. It has been done many times before, and the technology – vessels, pipes and specialists – that needs to be used already existsUssing explained.

Finally, the pipeline would need to be emptied, the strings cleaned of dirt and grime, blown and dried – and that’s it, you can get gas flowing again,” the engineer concluded, saying the process will likely take several months. He warned, however, that even with some oxygen, the broken pipes can accumulate rust over time, and recommended making the repairs within a year.

The footage of the pipeline breaks that Ussing inspected was taken by , which sent a camera down one of the pipes.

The cause of the explosions, which damaged three of four strands of Russia’s 1,200-kilometer Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines, is still under investigation. is suspected to be the likely cause. President labeled it “an international act of terrorism.”

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