Large part of Nord Stream may need replacement: Gazprom

Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said that a large section of the damaged Nord Stream pipelines may need to be replaced, meanwhile Russia is planning to boost gas exports via the Black Sea and Turkey. German federal police have concluded investigating the incident as to the cause of damage to the pipeline.

Russia has called the damage an “act of international terrorism”, pointing its finger at the West, while the European Union had called it “sabotage”, suspecting the Kremlin is to blame.

“Experts say that in order to restore work after such a terrorist act, it is necessary to actually cut off a very large piece of pipe, at a great distance, and in fact, build a new section [of the pipeline] on this section,” Miller said on the Russian TV channel.

He added that the pipe has to be raised from the seabed in order to restore its integrity. He estimates that the repairs may take more than a year to complete.

“It is one thing when the pipe is hollow, but another thing when it is filled with seawater for hundreds of kilometres,” Miller said.

The damaged pipeline has been investigated by the German federal police with sea drones and navy ships. They looked closely at two spots near Bornholm island.

“Cameras and sensors equipped sea drone has examined the damaged pipeline. Photos were taken and they will be analysed by experts,” said the German weekly “Spiegel”.

The damage took place at a depth of 70 metres and the German police have decided not to send divers to investigate. The German federal prosecutors suspect Russia of sabotaging the pipeline and they believe it may be “a serious, brutal attack on energy supplies which may affect internal and external security of the state”.

Both Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines, which were built to transport gas from Russia to Germany along the bed of the Baltic Sea were damaged last month, spewing out large amounts of gas. Both pipelines that stretch more than 1,000 kilometres under the sea were idle at the time of the ruptures.