Reuters: Russia will freeze the “Nord Streams” because it is not going to repair them after the accidents

Anhelina Sheremet

The Russian underwater gas pipelines "Nord Stream" will be mothballed, as there are no plans to repair or put them into operation in the near future.

This was reported to Reuters by sources familiar with these plans.

Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 consist of two pipes each. In September 2022, three pipes ruptured due to unexplained explosions, only one remained intact. Gazprom stated that it is technically possible to repair the ruptured pipelines. However, two Reuters sources familiar with the plans said Moscow saw little prospect of improving relations with the West in the near future enough to warrant the pipelines.

One Russian source said that Russia considers the project "buried". Two others said that while there are no plans to repair the ruptured pipelines, they will at least be preserved for possible reactivation in the future.

Another source familiar with the plans confirmed that stakeholders are considering keeping the pipelines. This will most likely mean sealing the ruptured sections of pipe and applying a coating to prevent further corrosion from seawater.

One of the interlocutors of Reuters suggested that if liquefied natural gas from the United States, with which Europe partially replaced Russian fuel, becomes much more expensive, perhaps European countries will be ready to resume purchases in large volumes from Russia.

  • On September 26, 2022, in one day, the Russians recorded a drop in pressure at once on two of their gas pipelines to Europe — Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2, which were never put into operation. Both gas pipelines are almost not working and are not pumping gas from Russia to Europe. Nord Stream 2 was never launched due to the invasion of Russian troops into Ukraine, but Nord Stream was almost completely stopped in the summer allegedly due to problems found. Initially, three gas leaks were recorded on the pipelines, and already on September 29, Sweden reported about the fourth.
  • The countries of the EU, the USA and NATO believe that the pipelines were sabotaged. Seismologists said that they recorded underwater explosions in the leakage zones.
  • On October 1, gas leaks from Nord Stream 2 stopped, and on October 2 — from Nord Stream. On October 6, the Swedish special services found confirmation of sabotage.