FACTBOX: What is known about destruction of Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 pipelines

TASS-FACTBOX. One year ago, on the night of September 26, 2022, the Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines, built to supply Russian gas...

TASS-FACTBOX. One year ago, on the night of September 26, 2022, the Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines, built to supply Russian gas to Germany and other European countries, were blown up in the Baltic Sea near the Danish island of Bornholm.

TASS has assembled all of the main known facts about this act of international terrorism and its investigation.

History of Nord Stream

In the 1990s, Russian gas giant Gazprom began exploring options for building an export gas pipeline across the Baltic Sea to Central Europe, which would bypass Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and other Eastern European and Baltic countries.

In 2000, the European Commission approved a preliminary design of the pipeline, giving it the status of a trans-European network intended to ensure an uninterrupted energy supply for Europe.

The Nord Stream gas pipeline was built in 2010-2012. The project was implemented by an international consortium, which included Gazprom, the German corporations Wintershall Holding and E.ON Infrastruktur, the Dutch company Gasunie and the French company Engie. It connected the Russian coast near Vyborg (Leningrad region) with the German coast in the city of Lubmin (northeast of the country). From Germany, gas was transported to Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and other countries.

The design capacity of the gas pipeline is 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year; each string has a capacity of 27.5 billion cubic meters. In 2021, Nord Stream delivered 59.2 billion cubic meters of gas to the EU (load: 107%), which was a repeat of the record figure posted in 2020. In total, Nord Stream accounted for 32% of Gazprom’s entire volume of export deliveries to non-CIS countries.

After construction was completed on Nord Stream, its shareholders began negotiations on the construction of its second stage, Nord Stream 2. Unlike the first gas pipeline, Gazprom was the only stakeholder. European energy companies stayed in as investors, providing half of the funds to finance the project - 4.75 billion euros.

In general, Nord Stream 2 repeated the route of Nord Stream, but its starting point was located not at Vyborg, but rather at the Russian port of Ust-Luga on the south coast of the Gulf of Finland, also in the Leningrad Region.

Construction on Nord Stream 2 began in 2018, but was interrupted due to sanctions imposed on the project by the Trump administration. The gas pipeline was built by December 2021. Although technical gas injection into the pipeline began, German regulators never gave permission for it to go live.


On the night of September 26, 2022, a pressure drop on one of the two Nord Stream 2 lines was recorded from the onshore platform of Nord Stream 2 AG. The coast guards of Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Russia were notified. The pipeline operator’s press service clarified that the incident had occurred within Denmark’s exclusive economic zone, southeast of the island of Bornholm. Later that day, the pressure dropped on both strings of Nord Stream 1. The Danish Energy Agency reported that a large amount of gas had entered the sea. Meanwhile, Swedish seismologists reported having registered two explosions on September 26 along the pipeline routes.

On September 28, the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office opened a case concerning an act of international terrorism. On the same day, it was suggested in Germany that the pipes may become permanently unusable due to the explosions.

On September 30, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the explosion was an act of sabotage aimed at destroying pan-European energy infrastructure.

In mid-October, European media published underwater photographs of the damaged gas pipeline. A month after the explosions, specialists from Gazprom and Nord Stream were allowed to inspect the scene. The fact that sabotage had occurred was confirmed by the Swedish intelligence services on November 18. Traces of explosives were found at the site of the explosions.

On February 8, US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh published an article that claimed, citing anonymous sources, that US Navy divers had planted explosive devices under the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines under the cover of the BALTOPS exercise in June 2022, and that the Norwegians then activated the bombs three months later. According to the journalist, the decision to conduct the operation was made by US President Joe Biden personally, following nine months of discussions with White House national security advisers. The European Commission press service called the conclusions of Hersh’s investigation "speculation" and declined to comment on them. John Kirby, coordinator for strategic communications at the White House National Security Council (NSC), said that there was "no grain of truth" in the investigation and declared that the United States was not involved in the explosions.

On February 16, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said that Moscow had no doubts about US responsibility for the explosions at Nord Stream.

On February 21, at the request of Russia, a meeting was held in the UN Security Council on the topic of the demolition of the gas pipeline. However, no resolutions were adopted as a result.

On March 1-2, at a meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the G20 countries in India, the Russian and Chinese sides sought to include a paragraph on the explosions at Nord Stream in the final declaration, but this initiative was rejected by Western countries.

On March 7, The New York Times reported, citing American officials, that a certain "pro-Ukrainian group" that acted without the knowledge of the US authorities could have committed the sabotage on the gas pipelines. The German publication Zeit came out with an article stating that German investigators had identified the vessel used by the saboteurs. The company that rented it allegedly belonged to Ukrainian citizens and was registered in Poland.

On March 8, the Times [of London] reported that European intelligence agencies were aware of the name of a "private sponsor" of the sabotage. While his identity is not being disclosed by the security services, he is described as a wealthy Ukrainian who purportedly has no links to President Vladimir Zelensky and his government.

On March 27, 2023, the UN Security Council did not support the resolution, initiated by Russia and China, on an international investigation into sabotage on the Nord Streams. Three countries voted in favor (Russia, China and Brazil), no one voted against the resolution and 12 abstained. The document did not receive the nine votes required for adoption.

As of September 25, 2023, German, Danish and Swedish authorities have not yet published any official results of investigations into the bombings of the gas pipelines. Negotiations on the restoration of Nord Stream have not started either.

-News Feed




Local Glob: FACTBOX: What is known about destruction of Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 pipelines
FACTBOX: What is known about destruction of Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 pipelines
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