YUZHNO-SAHALINSK, September 29. /TASS/. Repairing the ruptures that occurred on the lines of the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines may take more than six months, Pavel Zavalny, who heads the State Duma’s (lower house) Committee on Energy, believes.
In his opinion, there are two ways to fix the damage: making a caisson (a watertight chamber used in underwater construction work or as a foundation - TASS), or hoisting the gas pipelines to the surface.
"One way is to manufacture a caisson that will be brought to the pipe. Work will be carried out in the caisson to either replace the pipe or fix it. The depths allow this. Of course, a complex engineering underwater structure would have to be created. That being said, the timeframe - the design, manufacturing and the works - all this would take not just months but even longer. The second option is lifting [the pipes]," he told reporters on the sidelines of the Sakhalin Oil and Gas forum on Thursday.
According to him, raising the gas pipeline to the surface would require cranes with a lifting capacity of 3,000 tons.
"As part of the design of these gas pipelines, the risks of its work being disrupted were factored in, and, accordingly, the possibility of repairs was taken into account. Therefore, the pipe was laid in such a way that would make it possible to hoist it up. This will also take time, technical equipment, cranes, ships, and so on. But, in my opinion, technically it is possible. It may take a long time, it's not a month or two, it's six months or a year, at least," Zavalny explained.
He noted that the decisive factor in choosing options is the availability of ship equipment to carry out repairs.
"Probably, these pipe-laying vessels are under sanctions, so they simply won't be allowed to be used to repair the gas pipeline," the legislator admitted.
Nord Stream pipeline ruptures
Four Nord Stream gas pipeline leaks have been uncovered, with the most recent one being pinpointed by Sweden’s coast guard.
Earlier, the Nord Stream AG company reported that three threads of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 offshore gas pipelines had suffered unprecedented damage on Monday. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that Moscow was "deeply concerned about the news" and did not rule out that the pipelines’ operation could have been disrupted by an act of sabotage. Swedish seismologists later reported that two explosions had been recorded along the Nord Stream pipelines on Monday.
The UN Security Council will discuss the situation with the pipelines at a meeting on September 30 convened at Russia’s request. The Danish Energy Agency reported that a large amount of gas had spilled into the sea. Aircraft and ships are barred from approaching the site any closer than five nautical miles.