The German government reportedly fears that both strands of the pipeline may have been damaged by explosions in September
German authorities doubt that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline can be used for gas supply after the explosions in September that ruptured one of its strands, Der Spiegel reported on Thursday.
“It is very likely that the act of sabotage with heavy explosions has had a negative impact on both strands of the pipeline, so there is currently no technical capacity [to pump gas through it]”, the government said in response to a parliamentary inquiry by Alternative for Germany (AfD) party leader Leif-Erik Holm.
He suggested that the German government hopes that “the issue of gas supply via Nord Stream has been dealt with by the explosions.” Holm’s party strongly advocates the launch of Nord Stream 2 and is critical of the government’s policy of distancing Germany from Russia in terms of energy.
Explosions at both Nord Stream pipelines took place in late September, with damage discovered on both strings of Nord Steam 1 and a section of Nord Stream 2. In early October, Gazprom said it was working to stabilize pressure in the last surviving string with pumps gas through it, in order to control its integrity and reduce potential environmental risks from any gas leaks.
The capacity of the surviving pipeline is 27.5 billion cubic meters annually, which is equivalent to 8% of the EU’s total gas imports, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Since the string did not appear to have been punctured by the explosions, Putin suggested that Europe allow it to be commissioned to resume gas supplies.
An investigation into the explosions that damaged the Russian pipelines is still ongoing. Moscow condemned the incident as a terrorist attack, while Germany, Denmark and Sweden have not ruled out that it was targeted sabotage. The US claims that no NATO country was involved.
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