Sweden warns of gas leaks on Nord Stream 1 pipeline

A Swedish Maritime Administration spokesperson says the two leaks are in the Swedish and Danish economic zones.

Sweden’s Maritime Authority has warned of leaks on the Russia-owned Nord Stream 1 pipeline in Swedish and Danish waters.

“There are two leaks on Nord Stream 1 – one in Swedish economic zone and one in Danish economic zone. They are very near each other,” a Swedish Maritime Administration spokesperson told Reuters on Tuesday.

The leaks were located northeast of the Danish island Bornholm, the spokesperson said.

It was not immediately clear what had caused the leaks.

While the pipelines, which are operated by a consortium majority-owned by Russian gas giant Gazprom, are not currently in operation, they both still contain gas but the environmental impact appeared limited so far.

The pipelines have been at the centre of geopolitical tensions in recent months as Russia cut gas supplies to Europe in suspected retaliation against Western sanctions following its invasion of Ukraine.

“Authorities have now been informed that there have been another two leaks on Nord Stream 1, which likewise is not in operation but contains gas,” Danish climate and energy minister Dan Jorgensen told AFP in a statement on Tuesday.

“It is too early to say anything about the causes of the incidents,” the Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities said in a statement.

Denmark’s energy agency has, however, called for “higher levels of preparedness in the electricity and gas sector” in the country, Jorgensen said.

On Monday, Danish authorities asked ships to steer clear of a five nautical-mile radius southeast off Bornholm after a gas leak from the defunct Russian-owned Nord Stream 2 pipeline drained into the Baltic Sea.

Russia said it was “extremely concerned” about the reported leaks.

Asked by reporters whether it could be an act of sabotage, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that at the moment “it is impossible to exclude any options”.

Last month, Russia’s state-owned energy giant Gazprom suspended gas deliveries on the arterial Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany, citing maintenance requirements.

(Al Jazeera)

The suspension was the latest in a series of halts to gas supplies that have contributed to an ongoing energy crisis in Europe in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine that began on February 24.

Europe’s ongoing energy crunch has seen a 400 percent surge in wholesale gas prices since last year.

The shortages have squeezed businesses and consumers alike, who are reeling from sky-high inflation and the high cost of living, forcing governments to spend billions to ease the burden.

The situation is expected to worsen as European countries enter the cold winter months, with many homes using natural gas for heating. Some countries, including France, have said fuel rationing is possible.

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