Some questions raised by the spectacular leaks on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines Who could have damaged Nord Stream? All eyes are on Moscow, although the Kremlin has also condemned the incident. It could be a question of “creating additional stress on the gas market”, says Simone Tagliapietra, researcher for the Bruegel think tank, to Agence France-Presse (AFP). Russia will be able to “use sabotage as a pretext” never to resume its deliveries, advances to AFP Tor Ivar Strømmen, researcher at the Royal Norwegian Naval Academy. But making the pipes unusable also amounts to depriving oneself of an instrument of pressure: “if it’s the Russians, why do it on the three pipes? asks Thierry Bros, energy expert and teacher at Science Po Paris. What are the consequences for the gas supply? In the short term, this will not change anything. Moscow already stopped delivering gas to Europe via Nord Stream 1 in early September, citing a technical problem on the more than 1,000 kilometer pipelines that connect Russia to Germany Gas prices n did not show a significant jump either: in the morning, the cost of the Dutch TTF, which serves as a benchmark, took 10%, before starting to fall again. This weak reaction can be explained by the fact that “most market players” no longer “believed in Russian deliveries” of gas, according to Lion Hirth, an expert at the Hertie School in Berlin. In the longer term, these incidents seem to drive the final nail in the coffin of Russian gas flows to Europe. “Before, the resumption of deliveries by Nord Stream was unlikely. It has become impossible”, summarizes Johan Lilliestam to AFP. Considerable sums would be needed to rebuild the tubes which have filled with water in recent hours, underlines Thierry Bros. “It will be impossible to restore them (…), it is quite unimaginable to spend so much money trying to repair the pipes that connect us to Russia”, estimates the expert. What impact on infrastructure security? “What happens in the Baltic Sea could very well happen in the North Sea and the Mediterranean,” Sebastian Herold, a researcher at the University of Darmstadt, told AFP. “Deliveries from Norway and Algeria are vulnerable,” he adds. Both countries have become crucial suppliers to Europe since invading Ukraine to reduce dependence on Russian gas. “For Europe, whoever the author is, this is a warning. We must be prepared to carefully monitor our pipelines,” says Thierry Bros. “This is a stark reminder of the exposure of Europe’s gas infrastructure”, abounds Simone Tagliapietra. In a 2020 report, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) already insisted on the need to “protect critical infrastructure [énergétiques] in order to increase the resilience” of the countries of the alliance. What risks for the environment? The leaks will release “several million tons of CO2 equivalent” into the atmosphere, Sascha Müller-Kraenner, of the German environmental NGO DUH, told AFP. However, the gas released, methane, will generate “dramatic consequences” in terms of global warming, he added. As long as the leaks are not repaired, there is a risk of explosion on the surface of the water: the authorities have, for this reason, banned sailing and flying in the areas concerned. For maritime fauna and flora, on the other hand, the consequences are limited. “Methane also does not dissolve in water, so fortunately there is nothing to worry about,” says the Ministry of the Environment.