- Nord Stream 2 was filled with gas but never became operational due to Berlin’s reluctance to grant it certification.
Pressure in the Nord Stream 2 subsea pipeline, which was meant to pump gas from Russia to Germany, fell from 300 to 7 bars overnight, a spokesman for the pipeline operator was quoted as saying by Reuters on Monday. The company reportedly does not know the cause of the crash.
“Emergency on line A of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Tonight, the Nord Stream 2 onshore site controller recorded a sharp drop in pressure on line A,” stated a spokesman for Nord Stream 2 AG, adding that “The coastal services of Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Russia were notified immediately.”
According to the statement, an investigation is underway. The Swiss-based carrier also noted that the leak, if that was the cause, could not have been at the landing point in Lubmin in northern Germany. “If I was in Lubmin, you would have listened to it”, the company spokesman told Reuters.
The Russian-owned pipeline was intended to double Germany’s gas supply, and despite opposition from the US and some EU states, the German government strongly defended the project. In September 2021, the Russian energy giant Gazprom announced that the construction of the pipeline that began in 2018 had been fully completed.
However, in February, Berlin indefinitely suspended the launch of the Nord Stream 2, whose two lines had been filled with gas and were ready to go.
Many German politicians have been urging the Bundestag to change its stance and make use of the pipeline, which has an annual capacity of 55 billion cubic meters, to help Germany cope with energy shortages.
Last month, the vice president of the Bundestag, Wolfgang Kubicki, called to activate the pipeline “as soon as possible” to fill Europe’s gas tanks before winter. He pointed out that the gas via Nord Stream 2 is “no more immoral than the one that comes by Nord Stream”, saying: “It’s just a different pipeline. There is no good reason not to open Nord Stream 2.”