Nord Stream 2 leak a ‘danger to ships’ as Denmark issues Baltic Sea warning

The landfall facility Nord Stream 2 in Lubmin, Germany

A gas leak from the defunct Russian-owned Nord Stream 2 pipeline has led the Danish authorities to issue a warning to ships in the Baltic Sea.

Following the overnight leak, Denmark‘s energy agency has asked ships to stay five nautical miles clear of the island of Bornholm.

It described the leak as being “dangerous for ship traffic”.

The German government and local law enforcement officials are also working to find out what caused pressure in the pipeline to plummet suddenly.

“We are currently in contact with the authorities concerned in order to clarify the situation,” said a statement from the German economy ministry.

“We still have no clarity about the causes and the exact facts.”

Nord Stream 2’s operator said pressure in the pipeline, which had some gas sealed inside despite never becoming operational, dropped from 105 to seven bars overnight.

The pipeline has been one of the flashpoints in an escalating energy war between Europe and Moscow since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February that has sent gas prices soaring.

Intended to double the volume of gas flowing from St Petersburg under the Baltic Sea to Germany, it had just been completed and filled with 300 million cubic metres of gas when Germany cancelled it days before the invasion.

European countries have resisted Russian calls to allow the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to operate and accused Moscow of using energy as a weapon.

Russia denies doing so and blames the West for gas shortages.

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