(International Observation) The "North Stream" incident is confusing and confusing, and Europe's "gas shortage" makes it worse

  China News Agency, Moscow, September 28th: ​​"North Stream" incident is confusing, and Europe's "gas shortage" makes it worse

  China News Agency reporter Tian Bing

Great earthquake in Europe: "North Stream" exploded

  On the 27th local time, Nord Stream AG, the operator of Russia's "Nord Stream-1" project, issued a statement saying that due to the leakage of the two "Nord Stream-1" pipelines, "the sharp drop in pressure recorded yesterday made the We are convinced that the leakage of the natural gas pipeline was caused by physical damage." The statement said that the company immediately notified the local coastal defense authorities of the incident and identified two suspected damage locations, located in waters near Sweden and Denmark.

At present, the Swedish and Danish maritime authorities have established a 5-nautical-mile safety zone around the incident site.

  The company said it will use all necessary resources to conduct damage assessments in cooperation with local authorities.

It is still impossible to estimate when the natural gas pipeline will resume operation, and the cause of the accident will be determined based on the results of the investigation.

  On the 26th, Nord Stream2 AG, which is responsible for the operation of "Nord Stream-2", said that the pressure in the pipeline of "Nord Stream-2" near Bornholm Island in Denmark dropped sharply for unknown reasons.

Later in the day, Nord Stream AG stated that the pressure drop of the two gas pipelines of "North Stream-1" was monitored that day.

  Swedish TV (SVT) reported on the 27th that Swedish seismologists monitored that two explosions occurred on the 26th on the buried route of the "North Stream-1" and "North Stream-2" pipelines.

According to data provided by Sweden's National Seismic Network, monitoring stations in the country recorded two apparent explosions, one of which had a magnitude of 2.3.

"There was no doubt that there was an explosion."

Different opinions: The fog is heavy

  Russian Presidential Press Secretary Peskov said on the 28th that a series of unfounded speculations accusing Russia of being the mastermind behind the "North Stream" incident are stupid and absurd, and the Russian side will insist that Gazprom be involved in the relevant investigation.

He said earlier that the state of emergency of the "North Stream" project concerns the energy security of the entire European continent. The Russian side is extremely concerned about this and does not rule out the possibility that the pipeline accident is caused by sabotage activities.

  Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Glushko said on the 28th that if European countries request, Russia intends to consider a joint investigation into the cause of the "Nord Stream" natural gas pipeline incident.

So far, Russia has not received similar information.

  Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said on the 28th that the incident was not an attack against Sweden, but an "international incident".

She said the incident was most likely the result of an explosion related to sabotage and did not rule out the possibility of any cause, person or motive.

  Danish Prime Minister Fraser Ricksen said at a press conference on the evening of the 27th that according to a comprehensive assessment by relevant Danish agencies, the leak of the "North Stream" natural gas pipeline was not an "accident" but a "deliberate sabotage".

  European Commission President von der Leyen said on the 27th that it would respond to "deliberate violations" of Europe's energy infrastructure, but she did not specify who might be behind the incident.

She tweeted that the "act of sabotage" had been discussed with the Danish prime minister and that "any deliberate destruction of Europe's energy infrastructure is unacceptable and will lead to the most decisive retaliation." She also stressed that investigations must be made. the truth and cause of the incident.

  The EU's special representative for foreign affairs and security affairs, Borrell, issued a statement on the 28th, saying that the EU is seriously concerned about the damage to the "Nord Stream" natural gas pipeline.

The EU supports relevant countries in conducting a comprehensive investigation into the truth and causes of the incident, and will take measures to further strengthen EU energy security.

Borrell said any deliberate destruction of the EU's energy infrastructure is completely unacceptable.

Game escalation: worrisome prospects

  The "North Stream-1" natural gas pipeline starts from Vyborg, Russia in the east, and goes to Germany via the Baltic Sea. It is the main pipeline for Russia's gas transmission to Europe, with an annual gas transmission capacity of 55 billion cubic meters.

In the project operator Nord Stream AG, a subsidiary of Gazprom holds 51% of the shares, two companies in Germany each hold 15.5%, and a company in the Netherlands and France each hold 9%.

  In fact, the gas supply of "Beixi-1" has experienced twists and turns this year, and is currently in a state of complete outage.

Gazprom issued a statement on September 2 announcing that it was found to be damaged during the inspection of the last running turbine of the "Beixi-1" pipeline compressor station, so it has completely stopped gas transmission to "Beixi-1" until it is eliminated. Equipment failure problem.

There are comments that the incident will wipe out any hopes of restoring the pipeline in Europe before this winter.

  The "Nord Stream-2" natural gas pipeline is a cooperative project between Gazprom and five European companies. It can transport 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Europe every year. The pipeline starts from Russia in the east and reaches Germany via the bottom of the Baltic Sea.

Affected by the changes in the situation in Russia and Ukraine, the German government announced on February 22 that it would suspend the certification process of the "Beixi-2" project.

A German government spokesman said that even if the energy situation further deteriorated this year, it would not approve the Nord Stream-2 project and would continue to impose sanctions on Russia.

  Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Pankin said on August 20 that the European Union has long obstructed the "Nord Stream-2" project. "Nord Stream-2" completed the preparations for gas supply in December last year, but the German government has Egged on and frozen the project.

He revealed that the infrastructure of "Beixi-2" in Russia will be used for gas use in the northwestern region of Russia.

  On July 20, in response to the increasingly severe natural gas supply situation, the European Union promulgated a "solar term" regulation, requiring EU member states to reduce natural gas consumption by 15% from August 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023.

At the same time, in order to expand natural gas supply channels, the EU has made efforts to implement import diversification, but it is difficult to find new gas sources or reduce consumption to make up for the gap between supply and demand in the short term.

  On September 14, the European Commission proposed emergency intervention in the European energy market to ease the recent sharp rise in energy prices.

It is reported that EU energy ministers plan to hold a special energy meeting again on September 30.

  Since the beginning of this year, affected by the situation in Russia and Ukraine and the EU's sanctions against Russia, Russia has drastically cut its natural gas supply to Europe, leading to aggravated "gas shortage" in Europe and soaring gas prices.

Affected by this incident, natural gas prices will continue to rise, and uncertainty in the European and even international energy markets will increase, which will not only curb EU economic growth and push up inflation, but may also lead to further tightening of the EU's financing environment, affecting EU financial stability and people's livelihood issues.

As winter approaches, Europe is expected to have a tough winter.