Poland has become concerned about the security of the Baltic Pipe, its new gas link from Norway, after what may have been “sabotage” of both Nord Stream pipelines on September 27.
Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines suffered a sudden loss of pressure and leaked gas in what several countries – including the US, Germany, and Denmark – suggested may have been a targeted attack on the same day the Baltic Pipe officially opened.
The Swedish seismological monitoring network SNSN said on September 27 that it registered two underwater explosions close to where gas leaks were reported.
It remains unclear who is responsible for the malfunctioning of both Nord Stream links but Poland squarely blamed Russia.
“It is a very strange coincidence that on the same day that we open the Baltic Pipe, someone is most likely committing an act of sabotage. This shows what measures the Russians can resort to in order to destabilise Europe,” Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told a press conference late on September 27.
“It’s Russians who are guilty of very high gas prices [in Europe],” Morawiecki added.
Gas prices soared temporarily after the news of the leaks broke to ease slightly to nearly €200 per MWh on the Dutch TTF exchange on September 28. That is around five times the price paid by market participants in September 2021.
Some Polish experts say that Poland should now look closely at what it can do to protect the Baltic Pipe.
“It is very concerning [that] the … underwater explosions occurred very close to where both Nord Stream pipelines cross with the Baltic Pipe,” Robert Tomaszewski, an energy market expert with Polish think-tank Polityka Insight, told private radio TOK FM.
“It might have been a signal that Russia can strike pipelines, especially those linking Europe with Norway,” Tomaszewski also said.
Following the alleged sabotage against Nord Stream 1 and 2, Norway stepped up security precautions concerning its oil and gas infrastructure.
Poland is still to announce any similar measures if any.
Last week, Russia claimed that it had frustrated a planned terrorist attack on infrastructure supplying gas to Turkey and Europe, adding that Ukraine was to blame, Bloomberg reported.