According to French researchers, the leaks in the Nord Stream gas pipelines released less climate-damaging methane into the atmosphere than initially feared. Data from monitoring stations across Europe led them to conclude that 70,000 tons of methane had been released, scientists from the French Commission for Atomic and Alternative Energy (CEA) reported Wednesday. Estimates amounted to a multiple of up to 300,000 tons.
The estimated amount released is equivalent to 2 percent of France’s CO2 emissions, or Paris’s emissions for an entire year, Philippe Ciais said. Scientists had expressed concern about the climate and environmental impact of the leaks. However, they also stressed that the amounts of methane affected made up only a fraction of global emissions.
Last week, a total of four leaks were discovered on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, which run from Russia through the Baltic Sea to Germany. All the leaks are located near the Danish island of Bornholm, two in Denmark’s economic zone and the other two in Sweden’s economic zone. Although the pipes are not in operation, they were filled with gas for technical reasons. The gas leak has now largely dried up.
Russia: Nord Stream 2 operational
Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak emphasized that Moscow would be able to supply gas “in the shortest possible time” via the undamaged part of Nord Stream 2. To do this, Europeans would have to “take the necessary legal decisions on certification and the lifting restrictions” for this pipeline, Nowak said on state television on Wednesday.
He offered to supply gas to Europe through this pipeline. At the same time, Nowak called on Russia to participate in the investigation into the leaks. Russia’s involvement should be a matter of course, Russian presidential office spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday. Russia is also interested in clarification.
Putin accuses West of sabotage
Russia itself is suspected of being behind the leaks. The Kremlin had dismissed speculation about Russian participation as “stupid and absurd”. Russian President Putin accused the West of “sabotage” Russian natural gas pipelines on Friday.