Nord Stream : Environmental experts warn after pipeline explosion

I- The Nord Stream accident released a large amount of methane into the atmosphere

An assessment done by the Swedish Defense Research Agency in 2007 predicted minor consequences in the event of an attack on Nord Stream. 

The report said that despite the pipeline's concrete coating, it was still very delicate and could be detonated by a single diver.

The report continued that while such an attack likely wouldn't cause a large explosion, it was likely that one wouldn't lead to one at all.

According to chemical engineer Andrew Baxter, the Nord Stream accident released a large amount of methane into the atmosphere— but it was only a one-time event.

As Emdee Transitions Director at the Environmental Defense Fund, Baxter said the incident is significant because it illustrates how much methane the oil and gas industry is releasing into the atmosphere.

In addition to noting that gas won't accumulate like oil in water, he pointed out that it's dangerous for authorities to send someone to clean up the spill.

Poor air quality around the leak could cause a fire if a vehicle sent to clean up the leak was subjected to high levels of CO2. 

As a result, it's important for authorities to understand how far away anyone can be from the leak before any significant damage is done. 

The Nord Stream case shows that burning methane can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Mahmoud says this is because pyrolyzing methane forms carbon dioxide instead of methane. 

It's also possible to use excess natural gas in oil and gas companies to reduce overall methane emissions.

Additionally, converting methane into carbon dioxide can prevent the gas from polluting communities or venting into the atmosphere.

Ultimately, these actions can mitigate some of the risks associated with methane.

II- Nord stream pipeline explosion could have wider implications

Although the explosion didn't directly affect European energy supply or economic status, it apparently worried Western governments.

This was because they were already nervous due to Russian President Putin's nuclear-equipped speech on September 21.

However, the current energy state in Europe was unaffected because Nord Stream stopped supplying gas in early September. Additionally, Nord Stream 2 — which contains gas — hasn't been launched, so its supply of gas is also nonexistent.

The loss of these pipelines has little effect on the commercial or economic state of Europe.

The fact that these pipelines are old and nonfunctional makes their destruction comparable to a Native American potluck ritual; both are spectacular demolitions of useless infrastructure with virtually no residual value.

As a result, it's unlikely that Europe will restore gas supplies along this route in the near future. 

Instead, they're likely to look for alternate sources of gas outside of Russia.

Russia's involvement in the energy war could pose a threat to other off-shore energy infrastructure.

This is because an attack can carry a signal value— which can significantly alter the strategic landscape of the energy war.

According to Putin, this was an issue he discussed with military leaders in 2021.

He said that if aggressive actions continued from the West, Russia would take military-technological measures that would respond harshly to unfriendly actions.

It's worth noting that an accident similar to the Nord Stream attack could have happened in some or all of the seven main pipelines that provide Norwegian gas to Europe and the UK.

The incident happened just as the Baltic pipeline opened to deliver Norwegian gas to Poland; thus, this assumption is hardly academic.

Additionally, I want to emphasize that we have every right to conduct these attacks.

Any accident, natural disaster or malicious intent to cause damage can cause an energy supply disruption.

This can cause Europe’s energy crisis to worsen and last longer than expected.

The Nord Stream pipeline damage is a clear warning that any of these reasons can cause significant damage to any energy system.

According to Rand, Emily Ho, an assistant professor at the US Naval War College's Russian Maritime Institute, said, “It’s a huge hole.”

III- What we know about the nord stream pipeline explosion

An explosion connected to vandalism caused a fourth leak in an undersea pipeline linking Russia and Europe.

The incident occurred in the Baltic Sea on September 28, 2022. This was when a gas leak was discovered in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

The Nord Stream pipeline contained a fourth leak with gas pouring into the Baltic Sea. 

It's considered to be the largest methane leak ever recorded, and scientists say it won't stop anytime soon.

Sascha Müller-Kraenner from the German NGO Umweltaktion Deutschland commented on the situation in a interview with DW.

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