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Difference Between Nord Stream 1 and 2

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On September 26, 2022, the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines experienced multiple unexplained large pressure drops in international waters. Seismographic instruments revealed explosions, and a visual inspection revealed leaks, which are the result of sabotage.

Since then, many people have questioned the difference between Nord Stream 1 and 2. The main difference between Nord Stream 1 and 2 is that Nord Stream 1 was built between 2011 and 2012, while Nord Stream 2 was built between 2018 and 2021.

In this article, we will explain in detail the differences between these two pipelines so that you can better understand the situation.

Comparison Table: Nord Stream 1 Vs Nord Stream 2

SpecificationsNord Stream 1Nord Stream 2
Year of constructionFrom 2011 to 2012From 2018 to 2021
In operationFrom 2011 to august 2022No
Length1222 km1230 km
Annual gas delivery capability55 billion m355 billion m3
Main shareholderGazpromGazprom

What is Nord Stream 1?

Nord Stream 1 and 2 represented on a map

Nord Stream 1 is a gas pipeline intended to bring significant quantities of Russian natural gas to Europe via Germany. It is owned and operated by Nord Stream AG, whose majority shareholder is the Russian company Gazprom.

The first section of Nord Stream 1 was built in May 2011 and was inaugurated on November 8, 2011. The second section was laid in 2011/2012 and inaugurated on October 8, 2012.

Nord Stream 1 is 1.222 km long and has a gas delivery capacity of up to 55 billion m3 per year.

What is Nord Stream 2?

Nord Stream 2 construction

In 2011, Nord Stream AG started evaluating an expansion project of Nord Stream 1 consisting of two additional lines, later called Nord Stream 2, to double the annual gas delivery capacity to 110 billion m3 per year.

Nord Stream 2 was built between 2018 and 2021. The first line of Nord Stream 2 was completed in June 2021, and the second line in September 2021. Its majority shareholder, as for Nord Stream 1, is Gazprom. Nord Stream 2 is parallel to Nord Stream 1.

Its purpose is to allow Germany to demonstrate greater independence in the European energy market. Although the pipeline between Russia and Germany is officially completed, it is still not operational due to the lack of certifications that have not yet been granted on the German side.

Differences between Nord Stream 1 and 2

History

The Nord Stream 1 project began in 1997 when Gazprom and the Finnish oil company Neste established the joint venture North Transgas Oy to construct and operate a gas pipeline from Russia to northern Germany across the Baltic Sea.

The first pipeline line was placed on April 6, 2010, and the laying of the first line was completed on May 4, 2011. The second line of Nord Stream 1 was completed in August 2012.

On the Nord Stream 2 side, Nord Stream AG started thinking in 2011 about creating two new lines parallel to Nord Stream 1. As a result, in June 2015, an agreement for the construction of Nord Stream 2 was signed between Gazprom, Royal Dutch Shell, E.ON, OMV and Engie.

The laying works of Nord Stream 2 were carried out between 2018 and 2021 and were completed in September 2021.

Getting into operation

The first Nord Stream 1 line was operated on September 6, 2011. The second line was brought into service one year later, on October 8, 2012.

Nord Stream 2 was never put in service due to a lack of certification, including tensions related to the recent conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Russia halted the gas flow from Nord Stream 1 on August 31, 2022, for 3 days for alleged maintenance reasons but later stated that it could not provide a timeframe for restarting the gas flow. The EU accused Russia of inventing a fake story to justify the shutdown.

On September 26, 2022, the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines were broken at 3 different locations due to sabotage at sea.

On this map, you can see the two gas pipelines Nord Stream 1 (in blue) and Nord Stream 2 (in red) in the Baltic Sea as well as the 3 places where they have been sabotaged (black dots)

The pipelines were not in operation at the time but still contained gas, which caused a massive gas leak at sea.

Gas leak is widely visible in the Baltic Sea

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is against the Nord Stream pipelines?

The Nord Stream projects have been vehemently opposed by Central and Eastern European countries and the United States. They fear that the pipelines will increase Russia's influence in Europe and that transit fees for using existing pipelines will be reduced accordingly in Central and Eastern European countries.

Has Nord Stream been sabotaged?

The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said on Tuesday, September 27, 2022, in Brussels that the leakage of the Nord Stream pipeline was due to sabotage and warned of the "strongest possible response" in case of an attack on active European energy infrastructure. It is, therefore, now sure that Nord Stream was sabotaged, which is logical when one considers the extent of the damage.

Conclusion

By reading this article, you will undoubtedly have a better understanding of the differences between Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2. Nord Stream 1 was built first, and Nord Stream 2 is essentially a copy of it in order to deliver twice as much gas to Germany. Unfortunately, following the sabotage of Nord Stream, it isn't easy to know when and if gas deliveries will resume.

References

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About the Author: Nicolas Seignette

Nicolas Seignette, who holds a scientific baccalaureate, began his studies in mathematics and computer science applied to human and social sciences (MIASHS). He then continued his university studies with a DEUST WMI (Webmaster and Internet professions) at the University of Limoges before finishing his course with a professional license specialized in the IT professions. On 10Differences, he is in charge of the research and the writing of the articles concerning technology, sciences and mathematics.
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