Breaches were reported this morning to be spouting natural gas in the Baltic Sea. The pipelines are not currently in use, so this is the gas that was stationary in them. Pipelines are designed so that sections can be shut off, and presumably this has been done.
Seismic observations indicate the breaches were caused by explosions, according to Björn Lund, director of the Swedish National Seismic Network. He is quoted as saying that the explosions were equivalent to at least 100 kg of TNT, which is a lot and probably damaged the pipelines badly. TNT is the standard used for this sort of thing, but the explosives used were more likely C4, which is more powerful per unit weight. Its equivalent would be 72 kg. Underwater mines have also been mentioned.
It is hard to believe that NATO nations (now the entire periphery of the Baltic Sea) would do this, and Ukraine probably doesn’t have the capabilities in addition to being otherwise engaged. So that leaves everyone’s favorite villain, Russia. Russia does have these capabilities, detailed in this thread.
This seems to mean that Russia no longer wants to deliver gas to Europe. Perhaps a demonstration of their commitment to withdraw from the rest of the world. It’s hard to make sense of it, but I’ve been saying that since February.
Cross-posted to Lawyers, Guns & Money