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Nordstream sabotage

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I don't get it. Was it the Russians? I guess so, but why? Any conceivable tactical benefits seem to be outweighed by how hard it presumably is to pull something like that off without being detected. But really it seems like shooting themselves in the foot, because aren't they the ones who want those pipelines running?

5
In reply to Suncream:

False flag, i.e. wanting to blame it on the Americans or a European country?

5
 guffers_hump 28 Sep 2022
In reply to Suncream:

I reckon its the US, Joe Biden even said in a previous speech that they'll stop Nordstream 2. The US pretty much acts with impunity around the planet. Russia won't do anything and neither will Germany. 

31
 magma 28 Sep 2022
In reply to Suncream:

"If Russia invades,” said Biden, “then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it." (Feb 7)

https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2022/09/27/us-blew-up-russian-gas-pipelines-nord-stream-1--2-says-former-polish-defense-minister/?sh=504f93cc312e

 David Riley 28 Sep 2022
In reply to Suncream:

If opening UK gas fields is a bad idea, then the pipelines certainly are.  I expect we partly funded them.  Ukraine wants Germany to give them tanks.  More likely now they have to give up on the idea of Russian gas.

1
 chris_r 28 Sep 2022
In reply to Suncream:

The Russian energy firms have long term contracts to supply gas. If they don't there are big financial penalties. If the pipes are unexpectedly out of commission, it's out of their control - no penalties to pay.

1
In reply to Suncream:

This benefits Putin. Completely fitting their MO and consistent with other false flag events such as radio antennas (used for Russian broadcasts) in Transnistria being sabotaged.

The pipelines are not supplying any huge quantity of gas - what do the Russians lose? Various "technical faults" (cited as caused by the sanctions against Russia..) have meant supply halted. But sabotage of key Russian interests and infrastructure by "Nato and their Ukrainian Nazis friends" would be worth a lot to Putin...  he could have that reported on their news and justify to his people full mobilisation due NATO's new aggression.

So:  cui bono? ("who benefits?") -->  Vladimir Putin!

EDIT: If the West have identified the saboteurs as Russia? that won't matter as the Russian media will never report it as being Russian sabotage. What next some telecom cable faults? - interestingly the first act of aggression on UK against Germany in WW1 was at the tick of the clock when War was declared the undersea telegraph cables got cut (various acts around the world). Even more interestingly all the German ones in the North sea were cut except for one cable - which the British could intercept. I wonder what the Russian ship Yantar is up to? It's had such a busy time lately the poor crew must be feeling exhausted, poor people.

Post edited at 11:47
1
 dread-i 28 Sep 2022
In reply to guffers_hump:

>Joe Biden even said in a previous speech that they'll stop Nordstream 2

I'm not an expert, but being a pipeline, wouldn't it be simpler to turn the tap off at the EU end? Blowing stuff up, when there are increased tensions, seems a lot of risk for the same outcome.

In reply to CantClimbTom:

> So:  cui bono? ("who benefits?") 

Belarussian pipelines get transit fees instead. That's all I can think of right now anyway.

 elsewhere 28 Sep 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> Belarussian pipelines get transit fees instead. That's all I can think of right now anyway.

Despite the war, Ukrainian pipelines get transit fees too. 

I don't think Russia wants to supply Europe with energy:

  • "technical issues"
  • pipeline sabotage by persons currently unknown
  • Russia applying sanctions against Ukraine so transit fees can't be paid shutting down pipelines through Ukraine to Europe (chris_r's point applies here too)

https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/russias-gazprom-rejects-ukraines-naftogaz-claims-arbitration-2022-09-27/

Given the reluctance to supply gas/oil, I think Putin values energy supply to Europe primarily as a weapon.

Post edited at 12:45
In reply to elsewhere:

> Despite the war, Ukrainian pipelines get transit fees too. 

Not after the latest [threatened??] Russian sanctions

https://nitter.hu/visegrad24/status/1575035774432444418#m

Post edited at 12:42
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

The Belarusian transit fees already get paid by not routing gas in the Nordstreams due to all the "technical faults", but would they benefit any more from sabotage as opposed to "fault"?

Post edited at 14:17
In reply to CantClimbTom:

Yes. The end of Nordstream deliveries now "isn't gazproms fault" so no chance of any contract break enforcement there, not that there ever really was. Any gas Germany now wants to buy will be through Belarus, not Ukraine and not Nordstream.

 henwardian 28 Sep 2022
In reply to Suncream:

I can see the case for it being the USA - If the pipelines are cut then Putin can no longer use the on/off gas supply game to attempt to effect change in the European resolve against him (and remember that gas from those pipelines goes to various countries in Europe, not just Germany). So, if they can plausibly deny it at least, the effect should be to discourage any potential softening in the EU approach to Russia because a return of gas supplies is now beyond reach, at least temporarily.

I can also see the case for it being Russia - The false flag motive is obvious enough but beyond that, maybe Putin thinks that they can actually get the EU to believe that the USA is responsible. If that happened then it would drive a wedge between the USA and EU which is something he is desperate to do at any cost.... And it would be a very costly thing to do, it not only necessitates serious repair costs (gazprom owns the pipes after all), it also, as mentioned above, removes the soft option of opening and closing the supply valves to restore gas (or not) altogether.

However, the USA is absolutely terrible at keeping a secret operations under raps and this would be a big operation, and if word did get out, there would be huge damage to their foreign relations with Europe... It just seems like the potential for it to backfire would be massive and any gains from it's success would be minimal as there isn't any gas flowing through the pipes now and no sign there will be in the near to medium future.

I can't see how it could be Ukraine, even if they have the capability nobody in charge could be stupid enough to take the risk of being found out.

I can't see how it could be an EU country. And I can't imagine what other country could possibly think it was a good idea even if they did have the capability.

On balance I think it has to be Russia and I think it has to be for a home audience effect because I can't see anyone else believing otherwise.

2
In reply to henwardian:

It has to be a country with a nutty unpredictable leader who would do the unthinkable

It has to be one of the countries that desperately needs an event to change the narrative of the war because they are losing.

2
 Snyggapa 28 Sep 2022
In reply to CantClimbTom:

Additionally, it "shows what we can do if we want to".

I would suspect it was as much as to show a threat to other pipelines, gives another direct way to blackmail the EU. 

 ro8x 28 Sep 2022
In reply to CantClimbTom:

Yantar has had AIS off for a while now but some OSINT types located in the Kola Peninsular at the end of July. Be interesting to see where it pops up next.

In reply to ro8x:

> Yantar has had AIS off for a while now but some OSINT types located in the Kola Peninsular at the end of July. Be interesting to see where it pops up next.

You can bet the western intelligence agencies know exactly where it is all the time. Hiding from satellites is virtually impossible.

 wintertree 28 Sep 2022
In reply to Snyggapa:

> Additionally, it "shows what we can do if we want to".

I think plenty of people can do this - shallow enough for rebreather diving, small enough amount of explosives (seismologists estimate 100 kg TNTe).

Perhaps more a question of "shows who is bananas enough to actually do it" - signalling intent rather than ability?

In reply to Suncream:

Purely a demonstration of capability, to show they have escalation options against the EU/US, in terms cutting under sea cables, or damaging other, similar pipelines.

 ro8x 28 Sep 2022
In reply to Toerag:

Oh absolutely, when we find out where it was is another thing all together. Yantar looks to be an impressive piece of kit anyway. 

 wintertree 29 Sep 2022
In reply to wintertree:

> Joint US/Russian black op.

Confirmation of Segal working for the Russians…  I’d missed the whole side story of him going over to the Russian side in all this.

https://mobile.twitter.com/saintjavelin/status/1575497902579122183

Post edited at 18:55
 Will Hunt 29 Sep 2022
In reply to Gwinn512:

This. The US doesn't do showy operations that they then deny, that's the Russians schtick. Remember Novichok? Dissenting oligarchs tumbling from windows like confetti? Were it the US it might have been one point of attack and probably not an easily detectable explosion.

It's a Russian show of strength. "Look how easily we can f**k up your critical infrastructure."

 pec 29 Sep 2022
In reply to Suncream:

Of course it's Russia, it's exactly the sort of thing they do to "send a message".

The pipelines are of virtually no economic value to them, they weren't operating at the time and by the time they could be, Europe will have permanently weaned themselves off Russian gas.

It has plausible deniability, they know we know they did it but they don't care (as per novichok, polonium, people "falling" out of windows etc) but they can't be proved to have done it so they can deny it it to their own population.

It demonstrates an ability and willingness to carry out such operations. There are active pipelines from Norway to Europe in the area which they can also sabotage with plausible deniability so it's a warning to us of what they might do. They are hoping the prospect of a gas free winter will scare enough EU countries to split the consensus on sanctions.

1
 EdgeWinter 05 Oct 2022
In reply to Suncream:

If you want my five pence opinion, this looks like the result of a tussle between gas oligarchs and Putin.

Surely there must be a group of powerful oligarchs affilated to gazprom who are quite keen for Putin to be removed and peace estblished so that gas delivery can resume, along with the piles of cash coming out the other end. 

By blowing up those pipelines Putin permanently disables the oligarchs money pipes and removes a threat. Interesting to see how many gasprom executives have suddenly disapeared or died in strange circumstances recently.

1
 GarethSL 05 Oct 2022
In reply to ro8x:

Talking about Russian spy boats...

The Akademik B. Petrov has been spotted around the Gjøa oilfield in the North Sea plus two F-35s scrambled from northern norway to for unspecified reason (probably routine).

Ooohhh my tin hat is tingling 🤖

Souce (sorry in Norwegian): https://www.nrk.no/rogaland/forsvaret-folger-med-pa-russiske-fartoy-langs-norskekysten-1.16127644

 magma 05 Oct 2022
In reply to EdgeWinter:

nice theory, but for balance..

youtube.com/watch?v=vMPS42RwqOE&

 Rampart 05 Oct 2022
In reply to Tyler:

>  It has to be a country with a nutty unpredictable leader who would do the unthinkable

Liz *$%#kin' Truss!?

 jimtitt 05 Oct 2022
In reply to magma:

Where on earth did they find that old fool?.

 magma 05 Oct 2022
In reply to jimtitt:

funnily enough i found him through the david icke thread on this topic- was interested in what they had to say about this. surprisingly little as it turns out- this thread seems better for conspiracy theories

 GAE 07 Oct 2022
In reply to Suncream:

My two pennies worth, because why not?

My gut instinct initially screamed "definitely the US", and now a week or two later, I still think it was the US. They have, in my opinion, the most to gain from it and Biden is on record promising to do exactly this two or so weeks before the war: Biden "If Russia invades ... then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it." Reporter: "But how will you do that, exactly, since ... the project is in Germany's control?" Biden: "I promise you, we will be able to do that." I think Victoria Nuland also promised similar. 

To me, none of arguments for Russia carrying out an attack on it's own pipeline, a considerable distance from their own shores, at this particular time, make any sense at all. There is not one tangible benefit that I can think of to Russia, it doesn't help them in a single way, that I can think of. Sending a message or a threat to the West? That makes no sense. If targeting undersea cables was a part of their strategy to hit back at the West in a war, why the heck would they give away any element of surprise by shouting out "hey, look what we can do!", when there is nothing that they gain from doing so. 

So yeah, I'll stick with my thoughts of US involvement, on the basis of motive, capability, and explicit promises to do exactly this.

Post edited at 20:41
12
 David Riley 07 Oct 2022
In reply to GAE:

There's no helicopter wreckage.

 George Ormerod 07 Oct 2022
In reply to GAE:

What have the US to gain by blowing up a non-operating pipeline?  Ukraine is winning the war comprehensively, if it was discovered the US blew up the line it would be catastrophic to their reputation.  The added bonus of the uncertainty to the Russians is that your type of conspiracy theory has some people in NATO allies blaming the US - sowing uncertainty and chaos is their MO.

1
 wintertree 07 Oct 2022
In reply to GAE:

> To me, none of arguments for Russia carrying out an attack on it's own pipeline, a considerable distance from their own shores, at this particular time, make any sense at all

Given your view, I could make the argument that Russia did this to frame the USA.

No amount of logical pondering from an armchair can possibly determine what happened in a situation like this.  It wouldn’t if all sides were logical, but with some batshit folks out there trying to figure it out is the square root of ( minus futile).

Only evidence can answer this and I suspect thee and me will be on the wrong end of the mushroom principe there.

 wintertree 07 Oct 2022
In reply to George Ormerod:

> What have the US to gain by blowing up a non-operating pipeline?

The loss of the pipelines on a timescale longer than winter 22/23 defragments German politics by removing the basis for those arguing for Ukraine to trade people and territory for peace and gas to Germany.

As in my previous post, logic can’t answer this - or rather it can make a case for every possibility and so proves none.

In reply to wintertree:

Interrupting this thread for this https://nitter.hu/am_misfit/status/1578609912292478976#m

Post edited at 07:13
 jimtitt 08 Oct 2022
In reply to wintertree:

The most obvious profiteer from the sabotage is Ukraine, the pipelines were built to bypass them as they proved to be an unreliable partner for both Russia and Europe.

2
In reply to Suncream:

Has no-one suggested yet that it's just 'routine maintenance'...?

 wintertree 08 Oct 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

It has happened.

Oh my.

They’ll be at the dam and canal entrance soon enough.

In reply to wintertree:

Interesting to note, as I hadn't realised, that's the only rail supply line to the whole southern occupation force. There isn't a line across the South, except the one via Donetsk that's within a stone's throw of the front line. Compare https://openrailwaymap.org//mobile.php?style=standard&lat=47.80572928048483&lon=37.43434338597581&zoom=10 and liveuamap.com

 GAE 08 Oct 2022
In reply to George Ormerod:

It's no more conspiracy theory than your theory, unless you can provide evidence that it was Russia. Thought not.

1
 GAE 08 Oct 2022
In reply to David Riley:

Do helicopter wreckages float?

 GAE 08 Oct 2022
In reply to wintertree:

Yes, that's possible too. Anything is, like you say, we're never likely to find out. 

In reply to GAE:

> Do helicopter wreckages float?

Some bits will, yes.

Though I think David's comment may have been a bit tongue in cheek...

Post edited at 10:51
 GAE 08 Oct 2022
In reply to captain paranoia:

I know his comment was tongue in cheek, and so was my response. 

In reply to Suncream:

> I don't get it. Was it the Russians? I guess so, but why? Any conceivable tactical benefits seem to be outweighed by how hard it presumably is to pull something like that off without being detected. But really it seems like shooting themselves in the foot, because aren't they the ones who want those pipelines running?

It's directly from the Russian playbook. Throughout this conflict, the Russian position on fuel shortages has always been "we can't get the parts" or "you need to pay in Roubles". Simply "turning of the gas" would be a drastic deviation from that position. I'm sure they're rubbing their hands with glee at all this "false flag" nonsense.

In reply to henwardian:

> However, the USA is absolutely terrible at keeping a secret operations under raps and this would be a big operation, and if word did get out, there would be huge damage to their foreign relations with Europe... It just seems like the potential for it to backfire would be massive and any gains from it's success would be minimal as there isn't any gas flowing through the pipes now and no sign there will be in the near to medium future.

It's not just the USA - this is the primary issue with any convoluted conspiracy theory. I'm reminded of the Mitchell and Webb sketch where they come to the conclusion that actually going to the moon would be technically easier than faking it and trying to keep it secret.

There's just nothing to gain for the US in attempting something like this, even if they could find the manpower (call me naive, but I think persuading any team with the capability that they're going to perform an act of sabotage against one of their allies is going to be a pretty hard conversation).

In reply to GAE:

> My two pennies worth, because why not?

> So yeah, I'll stick with my thoughts of US involvement, on the basis of motive, capability, and explicit promises to do exactly this.

Serious question - what exactly do you think was the process here? How do you think the US logistically organises an operation against one of its own allies? How do you suppose that conversation goes?

 jimtitt 08 Oct 2022
In reply to planetmarshall:

Since there are 35.000 US troops in Germany and 7.000 in Poland I'd assume the logistical effort would be minimal.

 wintertree 08 Oct 2022
In reply to planetmarshall:

> Serious question - what exactly do you think was the process here? How do you think the US logistically organises an operation against one of its own allies? How do you suppose that conversation goes?

To quote a recent film…. “They’re called orders, Maverick

Mind you, I don’t think the subset of German politicians that were calling for Ukraine to negotiate for peace and for the pipelines to resume are our allies.

Not that the US is near the top of my list of baseless speculation for the culprits.

Post edited at 14:03
In reply to wintertree:

> To quote a recent film…. “They’re called orders, Maverick”

Well that's it exactly. I think the people who come up with these theories have watched far too much TV. You can't order someone to do something that is flat out illegal, even in the military.

3
 wintertree 08 Oct 2022
In reply to planetmarshall:

I repeat that the USA aren’t near the top of my speculative list, so I’m not arguing it was them but against the idea it couldn’t be them.

> > You can't order someone to do something that is flat out illegal,

Of course you can.  If they follow those orders or not depends on how they’ve been selected, trained and so on.  Russian forces appear to have been ordered to do plenty of illegal things.

> even in the military.

It wasn’t the US military that officers sentenced in relation to the Iran contra affair and then pardoned by Bush, Sr….

You don’t think the various covert agencies out there are all playing above board all the time, do you?  One doesn’t have to look far to find otherwise.  I wouldn’t for a minute think the legal aspects you nebulously cite would stop anyone from doing this if they had a pressing reason (not necessarily known to us) and the ability to keep their involvement hidden.

 jimtitt 08 Oct 2022
In reply to planetmarshall:

> Well that's it exactly. I think the people who come up with these theories have watched far too much TV. You can't order someone to do something that is flat out illegal, even in the military.

Err perhaps you might want to look at multiple events which have occured and see where you might have some slightly utopian ideas about what goes and doesn't go in the real world, stuff like the Bay of Pigs or the whole Air America/Nicuragua affair might tell you that your ideas are somewhat naiive.

A CIA operative hired from Haliburton sat somewhere in a bunker in Nebraska sending an Orca to dump mines on a pipeline somewhere in the Baltic isn't part of any normal military chain of command and that includes not bothering to ask the President (well at least not proveably).

In reply to wintertree:

> I repeat that the USA aren’t near the top of my speculative list, so I’m not arguing it was them but against the idea it couldn’t be them.

> > > You can't order someone to do something that is flat out illegal,

> Of course you can.  If they follow those orders or not depends on how they’ve been selected, trained and so on.  Russian forces appear to have been ordered to do plenty of illegal things.

Ok, you *can*, but you are not obliged to follow such orders, not in the US, not in the UK. I suspect the Russian military are slightly less bothered about how a casual disregard for the Nuremberg Principles might affect their International standing.

> You don’t think the various covert agencies out there are all playing above board all the time, do you?  One doesn’t have to look far to find otherwise.  I wouldn’t for a minute think the legal aspects you nebulously cite would stop anyone from doing this if they had a pressing reason (not necessarily known to us) and the ability to keep their involvement hidden.

You use the word "nebulous", however your entire line of reasoning is nebulous. It's based on what you think vaguely covert agencies might like to do, or might be capable of doing. However you have no idea how such an operation would work, who would be responsible and what the chain of command would be.

I think if you're going to say, "The US could have done this" you need some more concrete information about how exactly that would work, based on a bit more than some dodgy foreign policies in the 80s.

7
 john arran 08 Oct 2022
In reply to planetmarshall:

My understanding - and I confess I don't know where this came from so don't know how true it is - is that the contract covering Russian supply of gas through the pipeline to western Europe has penalty clauses for failure to supply, unless the failure was caused by factors outside of Russia's control. Hence the stories about not being able to source parts, and hence the potential advantage to Russia in having a longer-term inoperable pipeline they couldn't be blamed for.

In reply to jimtitt:

> Err perhaps you might want to look at multiple events which have occured and see where you might have some slightly utopian ideas about what goes and doesn't go in the real world, stuff like the Bay of Pigs or the whole Air America/Nicuragua affair might tell you that your ideas are somewhat naiive.

The idea that a military operation to commit sabotage against the civilian infrastructure of an ally might not be a trivial exercise and might give a few people in the chain of command pause for thought is hardly "utopian".

> A CIA operative hired from Haliburton sat somewhere in a bunker in Nebraska...

Like I said, too much TV.

4
 wercat 08 Oct 2022
In reply to planetmarshall:

> Well that's it exactly. I think the people who come up with these theories have watched far too much TV. You can't order someone to do something that is flat out illegal, even in the military.

Unless you are the French?

 jimtitt 08 Oct 2022
In reply to planetmarshall:

Switzerland isn't an ally of the USA.

 wintertree 08 Oct 2022
In reply to planetmarshall:

> I think if you're going to say, "The US could have done this" you need some more concrete information about how exactly that would work,

You've presented no concrete reasons why they couldn't, so it's a bit rich to ask for the opposite.  But there is lots of evidence that suggests it's far from impossible.  I'm not claiming any sort of certainty here, and you are.  I believe that puts a much higher level of demand for evidence on you, and you've not produced.  

Really, you are mixing two orthogonal barriers to action in your posts

  • One is the violation of law.
  • The other is the political implication of taking negative action on the property of a multinational consortium firm that benefits an ally. You seem to be mis-representing this as a direct attack on an ally.  This was not an attack on an ally (Germany), this was an attack on the property located in international waters and owned by a multi-national conglomerate with majority Russian holding.  Right now it doesn't even inconvenience an ally because they weren't getting any gas from the pipelines anyhow.  It does inconvenience one faction within that ally who were pushing hard - against the wishes of the other allies - to sell Ukraine out for gas.

Let us address each:

Violation of Law

> based on a bit more than some dodgy foreign policies in the 80s.

Have you been living in a hole for the last 40 years?  There are plenty of more recent examples of a certain US agency stretching or breaking laws and then getting a jolly good telling off for doing so, whilst happily still delivering for their national interest.  

Political Implications 

This really depends on if they get caught or not, doesn't it?  

They can tap in to multi-core undersea fibre optic cables at depth and splice in to them without getting caught using a giant submarine.  By comparison, it sounds like this could have come down to a couple of people in a small fishing boat with some commercial diving gear, a few duffle bags of explosives, an underwater timer and a bit of paper with a few lat/lon pairs scribbled on it.  Sounds like peanuts compared to some of the other things that we know they have achieved.

The evidence is clear that allied national agencies wilfully violate various laws (and that's only the stuff we get to find out about), and it doesn't seem like this needed some Hollywood mega-op to blow them, but could have been within the capability of a very small team that could be kept very quiet.  

As I said, I don't think this would have been the USA, but to say it can't have been because of "The Law" and because you perceive this is some ultra-complex operation seems naive.

I like to keep an open mind in the absence of evidence.

Post edited at 18:53
2
In reply to planetmarshall:

> I think if you're going to say, "The [insert suspects here] could have done this" you need some more concrete information about how exactly that would work, based on a bit more than some dodgy foreign policies in the 80s.

FTFY

In reply to captain paranoia:

> FTFY

Not really. Russia is in a state of war with Ukraine and has faced condemnation for this from the international community who retaliated with sanctions. The default position, applying Occam's razor, is that Russia are responsible.

It's the far more unlikely position that the USA are responsible for the destruction of civilian infrastructure that requires more in the way of evidence. Extreme claims, and all that.

4
 GAE 08 Oct 2022
In reply to planetmarshall:

I'm no conspiracy theorist, you can call me that all you want, crap insults don't bother me to be honest.

Geopolitically, there is actually lot for the US to gain from doing this, but I can't be arsed engaging with someone who clearly holds a very simplistic, naive and binary 'good guys vs bad guys' view of the world and flings the 'conspiracy theorist' insult around just because someone has a different opinion to them. 

The fact of the matter is all these theories only have circumstantial evidence supporting them, and therefore none of them can be conspiracy theories unless direct evidence comes to light proving one theory or another.

3
In reply to wintertree:

> > I think if you're going to say, "The US could have done this" you need some more concrete information about how exactly that would work,

> You've presented no concrete reasons why they couldn't, so it's a bit rich to ask for the opposite.

It's reasonable when someone posits an extremely unlikely explanation for an event that they provide some adequate reasoning, compared to the considerably simpler and obvious explanation.

> But there is lots of evidence that suggests it's far from impossible.  I'm not claiming any sort of certainty here, and you are.  I believe that puts a much higher level of demand for evidence on you, and you've not produced.  

I am not claiming certainty, I will be happy to correct the record if you can quote where I have done so. I do think it is extremely unlikely that the USA have acted against European energy infrastructure, versus the far more likely explanation of sabotage on the part of Russia. It does not seem logical to require a greater demand for evidence for sabotage on the part of the USA when Occam's razor alone makes Russian sabotage far more likely.

> Really, you are mixing two orthogonal barriers to action in your posts

> Let us address each:

> Violation of Law

> > based on a bit more than some dodgy foreign policies in the 80s.

> Have you been living in a hole for the last 40 years?  There are plenty of more recent examples of a certain US agency stretching or breaking laws and then getting a jolly good telling off for doing so, whilst happily still delivering for their national interest.

No, I have not been living in a hole, and really there is no reason to be rude.

> Political Implications 

> This really depends on if they get caught or not, doesn't it?

Only if you assume that the actors involved are totally amoral. We are talking about human beings here, and you don't have to be a hopeless optimist to think that logistical complexity and political inconvenience is not the only thing that prevents nation states from doing as they please/ Unless you believe that the only reason September 11 couldn't be an inside job was because it would have been hopelessly convoluted.

> I like to keep an open mind in the absence of evidence.

Well, I suspect you know what a NASA engineer once said about keeping an open mind.

4
 GAE 08 Oct 2022
In reply to planetmarshall:

It was obviously a Russian operation, because...reasons.

Occam's Razor. Jesus wept.

2
In reply to GAE:

> Geopolitically, there is actually lot for the US to gain from doing this, but I can't be arsed engaging with someone who clearly holds a very simplistic, naive and binary 'good guys vs bad guys' view of the world and flings the 'conspiracy theorist' insult around just because someone has a different opinion to them. 

I doubt you'll find many people on this forum who hold the views you're ascribing to me. You might wish to consider which view is more naive or simplistic: that the USA enacts an operation just because they can, or that there are numerous political, legal, and ethical obstacles to such an operation that make it more unlikely than it may at first appear.

> The fact of the matter is all these theories only have circumstantial evidence supporting them, and therefore none of them can be conspiracy theories unless direct evidence comes to light proving one theory or another.

I'd say that that is a rather unusual take on conspiracy theories.

2
 wintertree 08 Oct 2022
In reply to planetmarshall:

> It's reasonable when someone posits an extremely unlikely explanation for an event

What I have actually said:

  • "Not that the US is near the top of my list of baseless speculation for the culprits."
  • "I repeat that the USA aren’t near the top of my speculative list, so I’m not arguing it was them but against the idea it couldn’t be them."
  • "As I said, I don't think this would have been the USA,"

So, I think we're in agreement that we don't think it was the USA.

Interesting that you say Occam's Razor points to Russia.  Along with the pipelines, they have lost significant leverage over Germany where they were driving a wedge in to politics and where there were regular street protests calling for the pipeline to re-open.  Russia could - and had - already stopped the flow of gas.  Nobody else could compel them to re-start it.  Now their leverage is gone That works against Russia but for... Ukraine.  Yet Ukraine does't feature in your Occam's razor.  I'm sure there's all sort of unrecognised bias leading to your assumption. 

> that they provide some adequate reasoning, compared to the considerably simpler and obvious explanation.

The reasoning is clear, and it's been provided several times.  Devils Advocate: Is Germany being pulled to the East or to the West?  Simples.  A powerful string to the East just got cut.  The wider world is starting to make it's alignments clear in the possible run-up to WW3 and Europe can't afford to have Germany waver. 

> No, I have not been living in a hole, and really there is no reason to be rude.

It's a metaphor to explain your apparent ignorance of the transgressions since the 1980s.  Cough extraordinary rendition cough.  Your argument that the US is bound by the law in their International dealings rings hollow against far more recent evidence, and I was surprised you didn't acknowledge that. 

> Only if you assume that the actors involved are totally amoral. We are talking about human beings here, and you don't have to be a hopeless optimist to think that logistical complexity and political inconvenience is not the only thing that prevents nation states from doing as they please

Referring back to my "living in a hole" comment - presumably you have actually been reading the news and so on, and are aware of the role od US agency forces in illegally kidnapping and transporting around 150 adults - sometimes likely from allied nations, and with more than a whiff of torture on the other end of the kidnapping chain.  Or aware of the CIA torturing some prisoners by simulated drowning.   I am not looking to discuss the justification, or lack there-of, for these acts, but simply noting that they are highly evidenced.

Now, here's a thought experiment for you -you're someone high up in Langley, and you go and see some of your people who were willing to be paid to kidnap and/or torture people for the US, and ask them "Please blow up this gas pipeline that we've already sanctioned to hell and that isn't supplying anyone, in an action that puts no lives at risk and doesn't need to you kidnap or torture people".  

I'm sorry, but you would have to be hopelessly optimistic to think they'd say "No mate, sorry, above my pay grade that".  

I still don't think the US are a likely candidate, but I still think your reasons for dismissing them don't hold water, any more than your claim to determine it was Russia by Occam's razor.

Post edited at 20:29
In reply to planetmarshall:

> Not really. 

My point is that we have no direct evidence. So all theories are just that; theories. You asked for concrete information to prove it was the US; we don't have it. For anybody.

I'm not disputing that, like wintertree, I think the US is way down the list of likely suspects, but, until we have the smoking gun, it's hard to definitely rule anybody out.

In reply to wintertree:

> So, I think we're in agreement that we don't think it was the USA.

> Interesting that you say Occam's Razor points to Russia.  Along with the pipelines, they have lost significant leverage over Germany where they were driving a wedge in to politics and where there were regulate street protests calling for the pipeline to re-open.  Russia could - and had - already stopped the flow of gas.  Nobody else could compel them to re-start it.  Now their leverage is gone That works against Russia but for... Ukraine.  Yet Ukraine does't feature in your Occam's razor.  I'm sure there's all sort of unrecognised bias leading to your assumption. 

While I don't think Ukraine have the bureaucratic obstacles that the US would likely face to such an operation, I think they have enough on their plate and I would question their capability. Call that unrecognised bias if you will.

If I do have a bias, it's probably against attributing possible military operations against things like civilian infrastructure without the knowledge of what such things probably involve, especially relating to a country such as the US which is not at war. I appreciate the irony of being sceptical of conspiracy theories while simultaneously thinking some things are more complex than they may seem to be.

While I am not privy to the organization of covert military actions, I believe that it is not me, but the conspiracy theorists, who are naive to assume that such things are straightforward. To use an analogy of something I do have some expertise in, it is like seeing the depiction of computer hacking on TV leading people to believe that the likes of Anonymous can just "hack Russia's nuclear weapons". People actually believe these things are possible.

> Now, thought experiment - take some of the people happy to be paid to kidnap and/or torture people for the US, and ask them "Please blow up the gas pipeline that we've already sanctioned to hell and that isn't supplying anyone, in an action that puts no lives at risk and doesn't need to you kidnap or torture people".

I suspect it is rather easier to push soldiers into torture and other criminal activities when they are already at war, and already on a military footing, than it is to organise an attack on civilian military infrastructure.

Ans as you say, the US doesn't have a great track record on keeping these things quiet.

Post edited at 20:44
5
 SFM 08 Oct 2022
In reply to wintertree:

Military Intelligence and strategy must be an interesting place to be working in currently. We’re all armchair “experts” and pushing out a good debate/series of theories/counter theories so I can only just guess at what is really happening in said agencies. At moments like this I do wonder if a different career path might have been a better option!

Post edited at 20:48
 GAE 08 Oct 2022
In reply to planetmarshall:

You're right, there's not many people who hold those type of simplistic binary world views, but you are definitely one of them, every single post of yours demonstrates it.

But anyway, you call me a conspiracy theorist, I'll refer to you as a simpleton. Seems fair enough.

3
 wintertree 08 Oct 2022
In reply to SFM:

Not a place I could work, as fascinating as it would be.  Talking about my work really helps the mental processes, keeping my work in a tight box would really hobble me. 

You and I probably sleep better than those who know more and have to box it up.  I like sleeping well.

In reply to jimtitt:

> Switzerland isn't an ally of the USA.

Although not a NATO member, Switzerland cooperates with NATO, which I would have thought made it something of an ally of the US, even if not a formal one.

In reply to GAE:

> But anyway, you call me a conspiracy theorist, I'll refer to you as a simpleton. Seems fair enough.

I don't believe I actually called you a conspiracy theorist, however if you feel it's reasonable to refer to me as a "simpleton", have at it. It makes no odds to me and has no impact on your argument. Enjoy your evening.

3
In reply to planetmarshall:

> While I don't think Ukraine have the bureaucratic obstacles that the US would likely face to such an operation, I think they have enough on their plate and I would question their capability. Call that unrecognised bias if you will.

Having seen them sink the Moskva, hit saky airbase, and blow the Kerch bridge you would question their capability to tie a bomb to an anvil and kick it overboard??

1
 jimtitt 09 Oct 2022
In reply to planetmarshall:

> While I don't think Ukraine have the bureaucratic obstacles that the US would likely face to such an operation, I think they have enough on their plate and I would question their capability. Call that unrecognised bias if you will.

> If I do have a bias, it's probably against attributing possible military operations against things like civilian infrastructure without the knowledge of what such things probably involve, especially relating to a country such as the US which is not at war. I appreciate the irony of being sceptical of conspiracy theories while simultaneously thinking some things are more complex than they may seem to be.

> While I am not privy to the organization of covert military actions, I believe that it is not me, but the conspiracy theorists, who are naive to assume that such things are straightforward. To use an analogy of something I do have some expertise in, it is like seeing the depiction of computer hacking on TV leading people to believe that the likes of Anonymous can just "hack Russia's nuclear weapons". People actually believe these things are possible.

> I suspect it is rather easier to push soldiers into torture and other criminal activities when they are already at war, and already on a military footing, than it is to organise an attack on civilian military infrastructure.

> Ans as you say, the US doesn't have a great track record on keeping these things quiet.

The French government had no problems authorising and carrying out the sinking of Rainbow Warrior in Aukland harbour using at least ten military personnel and a submarine. I can't see the difficulty for any country to blow up a pipeline, either moral or practical.

1
In reply to jimtitt:

> The French government had no problems authorising and carrying out the sinking of Rainbow Warrior in Aukland harbour using at least ten military personnel and a submarine. I can't see the difficulty for any country to blow up a pipeline, either moral or practical.

Fair point, but that was nearly forty years ago, the height of the cold war and the era of "realpolitik" - we live in a different world. Can you imagine Marcon sanctioning something like that?

In any case, It's not like France didn't face repercussions from that operation. It suggests to me that repercussions such as reputational damage are one factor a country such as the US has to consider when staging such an operation that the likes of Russia does not. But then, what do I know? I'm just a simpleton.

3
 elsewhere 09 Oct 2022

At a time NATO is expanding and the most united in decades, the USA would be mad beyond belief to risk that by attacking Nordstream pipelines.

I don't think Ukraine would want to jeopardise their international support by attacking an already shut down pipeline.

Russia loses nothing. They have cut off the gas supply already and don't care if detected - see Salisbury or Polonium poisonings. If they cared what we thought they would not have invaded Ukraine or be torturing civilians and PoW to death.

Post edited at 10:47
 jimtitt 09 Oct 2022
In reply to planetmarshall:

Height of the cold war? 1985 was Gorbachov and Glasnost. And yes I can imagine Macron doing the same if he felt French national security was threatened and no doubt his electorate would agree.

There were no repercussions worth discussing, the only long term effect was to prove New Zealand were more interested in selling lamb and apples than anything else.

1
In reply to wintertree:

A couple of issues. Does Ukraine have any navy left? Particularly does it have submarines (or surface vessels) that could leave the Black Sea unobserved, navigate through the med, all the way round to the Channel and the Skagarak, and enter the Baltic to do this? Or are you thinking Ukrainian navy divers or similar secretly going to Germany or Denmark and hiring a fishing boat to do this?

Other one - you correctly point out that the US contravened international law many times under the banner of the Global War on Terror, but forget that they kept getting caught - heard of the Black Sites in Thailand and Poland? Yep me too, and everyone else reading decent papers back then. Secondly, they also went to extraordinary lengths to try and make all of those issues legal under US law at least. Remember Gonzalez and Card strong arming AG Ashcroft in his hospital bed when very ill to sign off on some program, enhanced interrogations maybe, when the acting AG wouldn't?

 jimtitt 09 Oct 2022
In reply to TobyA:

Why go all the way round? Their patrol boats can just cruise up the Danube. Though realistically the Ukranians have plenty of friends in Poland.......

In reply to jimtitt:

I suspect their patrol boats don't "just" cruise up the Danube. I suspect there are more than a few laws around cruising military boats up rivers through other people's countries, particularly if your military is currently involved in a massive war with a neighbouring super-power.

 SFM 09 Oct 2022
In reply to jimtitt:

I’m going for it being the Norwegians based on them having the most to gain in selling their gas to Europe.

If you want go full nut job then it’s the Baltic nations to prevent Germany wavering and lock them in to the common cause.

But ultimately all this waffle just plays into Putins hands as he revels in divide and conquer tactics. 

1
 wintertree 09 Oct 2022
In reply to TobyA:

> A couple of issues.

A reminder I’m playing devil’s advocate here; an important way of testing against one’s preferred answer.  My armchair not-in-any-way-an-expert take is “Russia did it”, but I don’t for a moment think I can reach any certainty. The evidence just doesn’t support any one conclusion, and Rumsfeld’s unknown unknowns mean armchair logic applied to the situation is as useful as pissing in to the wind.

> Does Ukraine have any navy left?

My reply here is also relevant to your “Danube” response to jimtitt and to planetmarshal’s critically misinformed understand of how difficult this was, apparently based on their irrelevant observation of how Hollywood misrepresents computer hacking…

Do you really think this attack needed a navy?  It’s more akin to the IRA attempting to knock out critical power infrastructure in England than to a conventional military operation.  It needed a small quantity of explosives in a few fixed, critical and yet unsecured locations.  

Digression: Heck, for all we know they were placed years ago, waiting for some trigger command sent via ULF using the pipeline itself as the antenna or sent via a specific ultrasonic databurst.  As far as I can tell, everyone on this thread has assumed the explosives were placed as part of the attack.  We know that certain national level infrastructure has been pre-emplaced with self-sabotage level explosives, and it’s not beyond belief that other nations could place latent sabotage devices in anticipation.  End digression.

Seems to me that this needed a 2-3 man team with one set of SCUBA gear with a Heliox mix or a commercial rebreather, a fishing boat, a few hundred kg of HighEx and timer/detonators and several lat/Lon pairs.  I’ve been out to sea in a little boat.  There’s no sea police; nobody is watching to see if a diver and a couple of duffel bags go overboard.  

None of those items need the aggressor nation to have naval assets in the area or indeed to have a navy.  

> Particularly does it have submarines (or surface vessels) that could leave the Black Sea unobserved, navigate through the med, all the way round to the Channel and the Skagarak, and enter the Baltic to do this?

Why do you think it needs to sail from Ukraine?

Why do you think it needs a submarine when it’s at commercial diving depths?

These questions betray your approach - thinking within the box.

What they actually needed to do was to get 2-3 men and a set of diving gear on to a small fishing boat from one of 8 different countries, to give them a piece of of paper with a few lat/long pairs written on it, and to get them a small quantity of explosives.   Explosives so commonly used in commercial quarrying I know where’s a truck load within 25 miles of my home.  

> Or are you thinking Ukrainian navy divers or similar secretly going to Germany or Denmark and hiring a fishing boat to do this? 

Wish I’d read ahead before starting my reply…  One commercial diver and a couple of support people would do.  Lots of other nations on the Baltic Sea who are pretty horrified over the dark side of Germany’s relationship with Russia and over Russia’s threat.  Turning a blind eye wouldn’t be hard for them it seems…

> Other one - you correctly point out that the US contravened international law many times under the banner of the Global War on Terror, but forget that they kept getting caught - heard of the Black Sites in Thailand and Poland? Yep me too, and everyone else reading decent papers back then.

Yes, we heard eventually, but critically not in the moment.  We’re still in the moment here.  Important context, that.  Further, you have (I assume) no evidenced basis for knowing that the items you and I have heard about are the sum totality of such transgression.  All we can honestly say is that they form the lower bound.  The higher bound could be the same, or it could be higher.  if we make the assumption the agencies involved aren’t totally incompetent, it’s entirely reasonable to assume that there are more transgressions we don’t know about. My point in raising this - and I was clear about this - was to make the case to planetmarshall that their view the US wouldn’t go against international law was absolute nonsense.  There is direct evidence against their point.  Your observation that (some or all) of these transgressions are eventually caught just goes to agree with me that they happen.  So, PM shouldn’t write off the possibility on the basis of law.

> Secondly, they also went to extraordinary lengths to try and make all of those issues legal under US law at least. Remember Gonzalez and Card strong arming AG Ashcroft in his hospital bed when very ill to sign off on some program, enhanced interrogations maybe, when the acting AG wouldn't?

Yes, they all want their “get out of jail free” card. The Biden administration have made no qualms of their objections to NS2; I’m sure if they wanted they could find someone to sign off on pushing 100 kg of highex off a fishing boat.  But the point I was answering was not about their legal system, but about planetmarshall’s naive belief that their individual agents would refuse to break international law.  Time and agains, as we’ve both noted, they do.  

More devil’s advocate - one out of the box reason for severing the pipeline is Germany acting in self preservation.  Russia can’t send a PIG down the pipeline without German cooperation (*) but they could make a wheeled robot that pulls a thermonuclear warhead through it and detonated it by the German terminal. Blow the pipeline and the risk is gone.

(*) - I’ve visited an assembly, integration and testing facility for PIGs with a professional hat on. They’re precisely nothing like the representation in a couple of bond movies, but they could trivially take a fusion warhead…

1
In reply to wintertree:

> ...planetmarshall’s naive belief that their individual agents would refuse to break international law.

You are misrepresenting my argument. It's not that they *wouldn't* break international law - it's that breaking international law and other political considerations present an obstacle to such operations that is not faced by despotic regimes like Russia.

I don't think I am being naïve - I think it is naïve to think that such considerations are so easily swept aside as some may believe. 

2
 wintertree 10 Oct 2022
In reply to planetmarshall:

> You are misrepresenting my argument. It's not that they *wouldn't* break international law - it's that breaking international law and other political considerations present an obstacle to such operations that is not faced by despotic regimes like Russia.

I’ve openly said many times I don’t think it was the US and I lean towards Russia.  I just disagree with how you write off the US as a possibility.  We know Jack Shit frankly and to be close minded in such a circumstance is naive.  Assuredly writing a party off is not evidenced.

Your first reply to me:

> You can't order someone to do something that is flat out illegal, even in the military.

Seem pretty equivocal.  You present that legality is the barrier.

I made the point that certain US agencies have violated international law, repeatedly.  To sell arms, to sell drugs, to torture and to have tortured.

You said:

 > I suspect it is rather easier to push soldiers into torture and other criminal activities when they are already at war, and already on a military footing, than it is to organise an attack on civilian military infrastructure.

> I don't think I am being naïve - I think it is naïve to think that such considerations are so easily swept aside as some may believe. 

I disagree.  I think it’s naive in the extreme to believe that individuals who are willing to be directly and indirectly involved in the torture of other human beings would hold their hands up and say “I can’t destroy an unused piece of effectively sanctioned infrastructure because that’s wrong”.

Perhaps those involved see themselves at war with Russia? After all they are providing serious weapons, military training, electronic intelligence, imagery and probably other stuff.  For the agencies on the fringe, the line between a proxy war and a war is necessarily blurred.

I still don’t think it was the USA, but I can’t make an honest case it almost certainly wasn’t and, frankly, nor have you.

1
In reply to wintertree:

> I’ve openly said many times I don’t think it was the US and I lean towards Russia.  I just disagree with how you write off the US as a possibility.  

That's fine. I think that US involvement is so astronomically unlikely as to effectively write it off. I am happy to disagree on this point and see no need to make it personal.

1
 jimtitt 10 Oct 2022
In reply to TobyA:

> I suspect their patrol boats don't "just" cruise up the Danube. I suspect there are more than a few laws around cruising military boats up rivers through other people's countries, particularly if your military is currently involved in a massive war with a neighbouring super-power.

That was more to point out that the Ukraine has other access to the sea for the vessels now comprising the Ukranian navy. With the right transit papers it wouldn't be difficult but I wouldn't bother either, buying a boat in the Baltic isn't exactly difficult.

 ExiledScot 10 Oct 2022
In reply to wintertree:

>  Explosives so commonly used in commercial quarrying I know where’s a truck load within 25 miles of my home.

Whilst screwfix don't stock it, it's all over the place. Road and building construction, in the alps they'll drop out of helicopters to trigger avalanches, the type and quantity varies, but it's out there. This thread will probably pop up on some mi5, critical national infrastructure team's inbox now, there are so many keywords being used! 

 jkarran 10 Oct 2022
In reply to wintertree:

> Digression: Heck, for all we know they were placed years ago, waiting for some trigger command sent via ULF using the pipeline itself as the antenna or sent via a specific ultrasonic databurst.  As far as I can tell, everyone on this thread has assumed the explosives were placed as part of the attack.  We know that certain national level infrastructure has been pre-emplaced with self-sabotage level explosives, and it’s not beyond belief that other nations could place latent sabotage devices in anticipation.  End digression.

IIRC on a previous thread I suggested the possibility the charges may have been there long enough to make finding the hypothetical dive boat in historic satellite/radar data nigh impossible.

> Yes, they all want their “get out of jail free” card. The Biden administration have made no qualms of their objections to NS2; I’m sure if they wanted they could find someone to sign off on pushing 100 kg of highex off a fishing boat.  But the point I was answering was not about their legal system, but about planetmarshall’s naive belief that their individual agents would refuse to break international law.  Time and agains, as we’ve both noted, they do.  

The 100kg estimate here is interesting, I think this came from some seismographic analysis in the days after the attack so it's not totally unfounded forum speculation. The thing that seems odd to me is it's *huge*, not only for covert man-portability but in terms of the amount actually required to rupture a ~25mm wall steel pipe. It's maybe 3 orders of magnitude more than you'd need for a shaped charge to hole the pipe and probably still at least an order of magnitude more than would be needed for a full circumference cut.

> More devil’s advocate - one out of the box reason for severing the pipeline is Germany acting in self preservation.  Russia can’t send a PIG down the pipeline without German cooperation (*) but they could make a wheeled robot that pulls a thermonuclear warhead through it and detonated it by the German terminal. Blow the pipeline and the risk is gone.

We'll not get to the perpetrator by looking at motive or capability, plenty have both and not just nation states. As to willingness, we (as part of western Europe with America looming somewhere behind us) are and have for some time been sliding gradually into a new war with Putin's Russia, there's the hot proxy war in Ukraine of course but also a new cold war in other arenas. We'd be fools to assume the gloves aren't off in the spookier corners of our and others' military forces. While a warning shot from Russia is a good fit but it's definitely not the only possible explanation.

jk

 jimtitt 10 Oct 2022
In reply to jkarran:

The 100kg (or whatever, the Ukraine claims 700kg) claim seems to be more of "explosion was the equivalent of" variety. I'm not convinced anyone actually has any data on how big the bang is when you blow a hole in a pipe filled at 105bar.

The old Warsaw pact issue limpet mines of which there are no doubt tens of thousands lying around would do nicely, the Czech M1 weighs 6.3 kg to penetrate 70mm of armour plate and the 14kg M2 150mm.

 ExiledScot 10 Oct 2022
In reply to jkarran:

You get explosives which had the nickname of blade, just for cutting. It's a line of explosives set in a rubber mat, visualise a speed bump made of rubber with a line of explosives running along it's base. You just roll it out across your structure, or wrap around and insert a detonator. Less over pressure and more destruction. It's not light because of the rubber, but getting it to the sea bed is gravity fed. Two or three laps around a pipe and it would cut a whole section out. 

 jkarran 10 Oct 2022
In reply to jimtitt:

> The 100kg (or whatever, the Ukraine claims 700kg) claim seems to be more of "explosion was the equivalent of" variety. I'm not convinced anyone actually has any data on how big the bang is when you blow a hole in a pipe filled at 105bar.

Good point regarding possible explosive decompression of the pipe itself. A bit of fag packet maths, some dirty estimates and and a quick google suggests a 200m length (~50m3 @100bar, the sort of scale I'd guess might decompress 'explosively' through a big, say 20m, split, the remainder beyond that having sufficient inertia that it would take a while to accelerate into more of a flow) does indeed contain mechanical energy roughly equivalent to a couple of hundred kg TNT so potentially in the ballpark at least as an explanation.

I guess that might explain why some of the bangs were reported to be bigger than others.

jk

In reply to Suncream:

The question is, did the perpetrators just want to cut the pipe neatly, or make it complex and difficult to repair? Is there any difference in the repair process for a neat cut or one warping the pipe back for quite a distance? If both types of cut are best repaired by removing a whole section and replacing it then it doesn't matter, but if a 'surgical' cut would be repaired by saturation diver patching operation quickly then it makes sense to make a mess of the pipe as much as possible.  Also, more specialised methods of explosive use are more likely to be traceable to the perpetrators.

 NaCl 10 Oct 2022
In reply to jkarran:

The thing that seems odd to me is it's *huge*, not only for covert man-portability but in terms of the amount actually required to rupture a ~25mm wall steel pipe. 

In the immediate aftermath during a news interview a knowledgeable person said that the pipeline in encased in a substantial covering of concrete also. I don't remember who the expert was but I would (at least hope to) presume that the BBC found someone with some good knowledge on the matter.

 jimtitt 10 Oct 2022
In reply to NaCl:

It's variously 11cm and 12cm thick. The steel pipe thickness tapers down over it's run as the pressure is lower at the German end so the concrete thickness is increased to compensate. The concrete is simply there to stop the pipe floating to the surface.

In reply to Toerag:

> but if a 'surgical' cut would be repaired by saturation diver patching operation quickly

You'd just start by doing a 'surgical cut'. Just like cutting out the rotten wood to a neat shape before scarfing in a new piece.

In reply to ExiledScot:

Out of curiosity, what were you doing on 28 Sep 2022?...  

 jimtitt 10 Oct 2022
In reply to JLS:

I was replying to someone asking about the concrete, the steel we covered earlier.

 wintertree 10 Oct 2022
In reply to elboy:

From the link

So. They’ve got pipelines with issues that are currently pressurised (with highly flammable, if not outright explosive, natural gas/methane), but not moving product. It’s time to find out what those issues are.

And they blew up. My shocked face, let me show you it. Next time, tell Sergei to put out the cigarette before pulling a pressure test. 

Methane is only highly flammable in the presence of lots of oxidiser.

What, pray tell, was the oxidiser down on the seabed?  And how did Sergei light his cigarette down there?

Perhaps as estimated up thread by JK there’s enough energy in the pressure for a big pressure driven explosion, but one driven by combustion?    Answers on a soggy postcard to “water don’t burn”.

 JLS 10 Oct 2022
In reply to jimtitt:

Ah sorry, so you were…

 petemeads 10 Oct 2022
In reply to jimtitt:

The pressure at the German end will only be lower if there is a flow in that direction, once flow ceases the pressures would effectively equalize. How this squares with the reduced thickness of steel I'm not sure - the equalized pressure has to be below the German end maximum and maybe this is guaranteed by the limit at the Russian end?

In reply to petemeads:

Required pipe thickness depend on lots of factors. It may be the pipe empty conditions with external hydrostatic pressure was critical at some locations as depth varied. Or construction requirements governed.

 jimtitt 10 Oct 2022
In reply to petemeads:

In non-pumping mode the pressure is the same all the way along, once you start pumping the pressure at the pump end must be higher due to the friction in the pipe.

 wintertree 10 Oct 2022
In reply to jimtitt:

Don’t forget gravity!  The pipes won’t be level.  At the pressures involved, it might not be so insignificant…?

 jimtitt 10 Oct 2022
In reply to wintertree:

Well the two ends are at sea level....

The pipe diagram for Nordstream 1 says the first section is 34.6mm thick for 220bar, the central section is 30.9mm for 200bar and the last part 26.8mm for 177.5bar.

In reply to all:

What I'm really impressed with is just how many UKCers are experts not only on sub-sea natural gas delivery systems BUT ALSO navy diver special sabotage operations* AND Russian and US security state politics! Whodathunkit?

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