Nord Stream Pipeline Leaks

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    • Recently,the two Nord Stream gas pipelines linking Russia and Europe have been hit by unexplained leaks.
      • There have been four cases of leaks in the pipelines.

    Background

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

    Impact of Leaks

    • Distruption in the supply of natural gas to the European nations which can lead to a spike in the gas price in the region.
    • It will also result in the release of methane gas which will have an impact on the environment.

     About Nord Stream Pipeline

    • Nord Stream is the 1,200 km subsea export gas pipeline that runs under the Baltic Sea carrying gas from Russia to Europe. 
    • Source: Bovanenkovo oil and gas condensate deposit in Western Siberia.
    • The Nord Stream twin pipeline system through the Baltic Sea runs from Vyborg, Russia to Lubmin near Greifswald, Germany.
      •  The pipelines were built and are operated by Nord Stream AG.
    • The Nord Stream route crosses the Exclusive Economic Zones of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany, as well as the territorial waters of Russia, Denmark, and Germany.
      • Nord Stream 1, completed in 2011 (From Vyborg in Leningrad to Lubmin near Greifswald, Germany).
      • Nord Stream 2, completed in September 2021 (From Ust-Luga in Leningrad to Lubmin).

    Importance of the Pipeline

    • Germany is Russia’s biggest European gas consumer, and most of it comes through the Nord Stream Pipeline. 
      • Its share of Russian gas supplies was 55% in 2021, and currently lies at 35%
    • Sustainable Gas Supply to Europe: The pipeline provides Europe with a sustainable gas supply.
    •  Russia gets more direct access to the European gas market.
    • Investment and Employment: It  benefits the national governments and local authorities through investments and employment generated due to it. 

    Source:TH