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Current Events: The Baltic Sea Gas Pipeline Explosion


A 745- mile pipeline delivers about 35% of all gas from Russia to the European Union. The Nord Stream 1 Pipeline in the Baltic Sea stretches from St Petersburg, Russia, all the way to northeast Germany. So in June, when Russia began slowly restricting its supply to the EU due to mounting sanctions from the Russo-Ukrainian War, this caused major alarm among the countries that rely on its oil. However, while these European countries' outcry was noted by Russia, they could do nothing to gain this supply back and instead were forced to cut gas usage.

This gas crisis is still ongoing, and the tensions have been worsened by recent controversial explosions. In late September, Norway and Denmark reported 4 leaks in the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline, which is an expansion of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline that has been completed but not yet entered service. Seismologists, a type of earth scientist, reported two blasts, the second of which triggered a 2.3 magnitude earthquake which was picked up in Denmark, Finland, and Norway (AP News). These explosions happened off the coast of a Danish Island called Bornholm. While there is suspicion of Russian sabotage, Germany is now conducting an investigation into these explosions to confidently pin down the culprit (ABC). The Nord Stream 2 was not yet actively transporting oil because Germany paused the certification process of this second pipeline due to The Ukrainian War. Even though the pipeline had not been in use, it was already full of oil which means the explosions caused tons of oil to leak into the Balic Sea.

It is hard to pinpoint the sheer magnitude of the environmental destruction this caused because it is dependent on the temperature of the oil and how much oil leaked into the sea. Unfortunately regardless of those factors, when the ocean life and plant life come into contact with the oil they will die because of the effects. Hopefully Germany’s investigation into the perpetrator of the explosion will soon get justice for those affected, but there will never truly be justice for the ocean life that has been lost.


Citations

1) Nord Stream 1: How Russia is cutting gas supplies to Europe, BBC

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-60131520

2) Germany opens investigation of Baltic gas pipeline blasts, ABC

https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/germany-opens-investigation-baltic-gas-pipeline-blasts-91291919

3) NATO believes Baltic Sea gas pipeline leaks were sabotage, AP News

https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-business-sweden-baltic-sea-a03cc4816da6c1ddb401119ffd5a8f93

4) Nord Stream: Russian gas pipe leaks could have an 'unprecedented' environmental impact, euronews.green

https://www.euronews.com/green/2022/09/28/nord-stream-russian-gas-pipe-leaks-could-have-an-unprecedented-environmental-impact






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