The simultaneous breakdown of three gas pipeline strings in the Baltic Sea is unprecedented, Nord Stream operator Nord Stream said in a statement.
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"The breakdown that occurred simultaneously in three strings of the offshore gas pipelines of the Nord Stream system, on the same day, is unprecedented. It is not yet possible to estimate the timeframe for restoring the gas transmission infrastructure," Nord Stream said in the statement.
During the night from Sunday to Monday, a leak occurred in one of the strings of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in the Danish exclusive economic zone, southeast of the island of Bornholm.
Gas leaks were also discovered in both strings of Nord Stream 1 in the Danish exclusive economic zone, northeast of Bornholm.
There are five-mile no-go zones for shipping around the leak areas.
Nord Stream 1, with capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year, has currently halted operation owing to overhaul time of the engines of the gas pumping stations, as well as breakdowns in compressor equipment that cannot be fixed owing to sanctions.
Nord Stream 2, a gas pipeline with similar output capacity per year, has been built and is ready for operation, though it has not been launched because of bureaucratic delays and sanctions restrictions.
Germany suspects the Nord Stream gas pipeline system was damaged by an act of sabotage, in what would amount to a major escalation in the standoff between Russia and Europe.
According to a German security official, the evidence points to a violent act rather than a technical issue. Swedish seismologists detected two tremors.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov did not rule out that disruptions in the operation of the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines could be sabotaged.
"Now we can't rule out any option," he told reporters responding to a relevant question from TASS.
"Obviously, there is some kind of destruction of the pipe, and as for what caused it, before the results of the research appear, we cannot rule out any single way," he added. ■