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NORD STREAM

Gas still leaking from Nord Stream 2: Swedish Coast Guard

Sweden's coast guard said on Monday it could no longer see any leaks from the Nord Stream 1 pipeline in the Baltic Sea, but a smaller leak from Nord Stream 2 was still visible.

Gas still leaking from Nord Stream 2: Swedish Coast Guard
One of the Swedish Coast Guard's planes. Photo: Swedish Coast Guard

“The larger leak is now no longer visible on the surface while the smaller one instead has increased slightly,” the coast guard said in a statement.

The observations were made during an overflight on Monday at around 8am of the two pipelines suspected to have been damaged in an act of sabotage, it added.

“At that time, the smaller leak was approximately 30 metres in diameter,” the coast guard said.

A spokesman for the operator of the Nord Stream pipelines, Nord Stream AG, said on Saturday that the leaking from the Nord Stream 2 pipeline had stopped because an equilibrium had been reached between the gas and water pressure.

Gazprom, which owns 51 percent of the pipeline project, said Monday “it was working to lower the pressure in the B line of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline” by pumping out the natural gas of the pipe, so that the pipeline could be examined safely.

Both Nord Stream 1 and 2 are made up of two lines and both leaks on Nord Stream 2 were on the A line.

The Russian energy giant added that it did not rule out the possibility that the Nord Stream 2 B pipeline could still be used to deliver gas.

“If the decision is taken to start deliveries via the Nord Stream 2 B-line, natural gas will be pumped into the pipeline after the integrity of the system has been checked and the supervisory authorities have confirmed such a possibility,” Gazprom said in a statement on its Telegram channel.

Built in parallel to the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, Nord Stream 2 was intended to double the capacity for Russian gas imports to Germany. But Berlin blocked the opening of the newly-completed Nord Stream 2 in the days before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

All of the leaks, which were discovered on Monday last week, are in the Baltic Sea off the Danish island of Bornholm. Both Washington and Moscow have denied responsibility.

Danish authorities had estimated that all the gas trapped in the pipelines would have escaped by Sunday. Two of the leaks are located in the Swedish exclusive economic zone, and the two others in the Danish one.

The Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, which connect Russia to Germany, have been at the centre of geopolitical tensions as Russia cut gas supplies to Europe in suspected retaliation against Western sanctions following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

While the pipelines are not currently in operation, they both still contained gas before they fell victim to apparent sabotage.

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ENERGY

Danish consumers urged to keep conserving energy to avoid high costs

Although the price of electricity has recently fallen back from recent recent sky-high levels, it’s important that Danish consumers don’t return their usage habits to normal, energy experts say.

Danish consumers urged to keep conserving energy to avoid high costs

Energy prices in Denmark are currently lower than they were in the late summer and early autumn, but experts say that turning heating up to full blast – and generally scrapping measures to reduce consumption – will still result in costly bills.

While prices were high, many people in Denmark adapted their consumption habits in an effort to preserve stores and avoid high costs.

Public buildings and many businesses meanwhile implemented lower temperatures on thermostats, and power-hungry activities such as outdoor ice rinks or Christmas lighting were cancelled or cut back.

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With the weather now colder, energy prices are currently low.

That is partly because Denmark’s gas reserves that serve as an emergency backup are full, while issues at European power plants that exacerbated the crisis have been largely resolved. 

The cold weather and lower prices may tempt many to return to former habits and turn heating up as usual. But this could still see energy bills eventually hit record levels, experts have warned.

“We will have to think about what we use our electricity and gas for and make savings where we can,” Jim Vilsson, senior economist at state-owned energy company Energinet told broadcaster TV2.

“Otherwise, we could end up in a situation where we again risk being short of energy,” he said.

Data from Nordic energy stock market Nord Pool, reported by TV2, show the unit price of electricity hitting 4.36 kroner per kilowatt hour (not including fees and taxes) in late August.

The price was 0.9 kroner per kilowatt hour as of November 20th.

Gas prices similarly peaked in late August and before falling, but are higher than they were in November 2021.

READ ALSO: At what time of the day is electricity cheapest in Denmark?

“Supply wise we are well stocked at the moment. We have got the European gas strores filled well up and they are actually completely full in Denmark,” Vilsson told TV2.

Gas stocks remained full further into the late autumn than usual, according to raw material analyst Ole Sloth Hansen of Saxo Bank.

“We have only just seen gas stocks be reduced and this was three weeks later than normal. So we have lots of gas, but we’re not home and dry yet,” Hansen told TV2.

Consumers in Denmark have meanwhile reduced their consumption by an average of around 10 percent.

“The market is a little better than it was before. But I’m putting extra emphasis on ‘little’, because it’s based on a situation where we expect a relatively normal or mild winter,” Vilsson said.

Increased consumption could help to push current lower prices back up as well as deplete stocks, he warned.

“We have been able to keep prices down because we have stood together and been good at saving. If we go back to normal, we could be in a situation again where we will lack gas, coal or electricity,” he said.

READ ALSO: How do I check my Danish electricity plan and decide whether to change?

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