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Object found next to Nord Stream pipeline

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Pipelines,

The Kremlin has said it was important to identify an object discovered next to one of the Nord Stream pipelines, and said the ongoing investigation into blasts that struck the pipelines last September must be conducted with full transparency. Denmark has invited the Russian-controlled operator of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to help salvage an unidentified object found close to the only remaining intact gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea. Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov told reporters this invitation is a positive sign.

Object found next to Nord Stream pipeline

"It's certainly positive news when the owner of the pipeline is invited to take part in very important phases of the investigation," Peskov said. "It is critically important to determine what kind of object it is, whether it is related to this terrorist act – apparently it is – and to continue this investigation. And this investigation must be transparent," Peskov added.

Three of the four pipelines of the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas links were hit in a still-unexplained explosion last September. Russia has, without evidence, blamed Britain and the US for the blasts, while European investigators have not said who they believe was responsible.

Last week, Danish authorities said a tubular object, protruding around 40 cm (16 in.) from the seabed and 10 cm dia., had been found during an inspection of the last remaining intact pipeline by Swiss-based operator Nord Stream 2 AG.

"With a view to further clarifying the nature of the object, Danish authorities have decided to salvage the object with assistance from the Danish Defence," the country's Energy Agency said in a statement this week.

The pipeline operator is controlled by Russian state-owned gas company, Gazprom. Authorities have assessed that "the object does not pose any immediate safety risk," the agency said.

Russian President, Vladimir Putin said last week that a ship rented by Gazprom had found an antenna-like object about 30 km (19 miles) from the explosion sites. It was not clear if he referred to the same object that Danish authorities will attempt to salvage.

The last intact pipeline has remained idle as Europe has cut most energy ties with Russia. The pipeline still contains gas, but the operator said last year it had lowered its pressure as a precaution.

Image: Danish Defence Command/Handout via REUTERS

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