The expert revealed the risk of an emergency with Nord Stream pipes

MOSCOW, 29 Sep — PRIME. The accidents with the Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 pipelines do not yet have an impact on the environment, but Europe’s prospects for surviving the winter are deteriorating fundamentally, Igor Yushkov, a leading analyst at the National Energy Security Fund (FNEB), told Prime.

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“So far, the situation does not affect the environment: gas is not oil. Oil causes significant damage to the environment. Gas simply rises to the surface. It is lighter than air, so it dissolves in the atmosphere and there will be no actual damage to the environment,” he explained.

The expert added that climatologists are a little nervous because of the state of emergency. “They consider methane to be an aggressive greenhouse gas. Its additional emissions into the atmosphere provoke global warming. Although the volumes of gas here are not so gigantic to significantly affect the climate,” the agency’s interlocutor added.

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Yushkov stressed that in terms of value – at current gas prices in Europe at $2,000 per thousand cubic meters – about $2 billion worth of gas will come out of the three damaged lines. “But for the environment, this is insignificant, especially since no one listens to climatologists now,” he added.

This gas cannot explode now, because a protective zone of five nautical miles (about 9 kilometers) has been established there and it is impossible to swim up to the emergency zone in order to “strike a lighter”. If that were to happen, then yes, that gas would ignite. But as long as no one sets it on fire, it will come to the surface and dissolve in the atmosphere.

“It does not dissolve in water, so it cannot affect the environment in any way. Nothing terrible and comparable to the Gulf of Mexico (explosion of an oil platform followed by an oil leak in 2010 – ed.). In the Gulf of Mexico, oil was whipped from a well and spread over the surface water. Oil is lighter than water and heavier than air. Therefore, it did not dissolve or evaporate, but simply stretched over the surface, creating a film over long distances, not letting oxygen into the water. Therefore, fish die, birds sit on the affected surface of the water, get dirty with oil, from “Why they can’t fly and die. This is the main problem of oil. But gas does not create such a film, it does not remain in water, so the current state of emergency does not threaten anything like that,” the expert said.

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Formally, the emergency in the Baltic Sea will not affect gas supplies to Europe either: Nord Stream 2 was never launched, and the first pipeline was stopped in early September due to the failure of the last turbine capable of creating pressure in the pipe. Strategically, this can hit Europe very hard: the Europeans lose their safety net. They assumed that if a severe economic or energy crisis begins, a harsh winter, or supplies from other sources stop, then it will still be possible to agree with Russia on supplies via Nord Stream or Nord Stream 2. And now they will no longer have this opportunity, summed up the representative of the FNEB.

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