Big section of damaged Nord Stream pipelines need to be replaced: Gazprom CEO

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Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller told Russia’s State TV Channel One late on Thursday that a big section of the damaged Nord Stream pipelines might need to be replaced, while Russia plans boosting gas exports via the Black Sea and Turkey.

Both Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines, which were built to transport gas from Russia to Germany via the bed of the Baltic Sea, were damaged last month, spewing out a large amount of gas.

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Investigation into the incidents is under way. Russia called it an “act of international terrorism”, pointing the finger at the West, while the European Union called it a “sabotage”.

Both pipelines, stretching more than 1,000 km (620 miles) under the sea, were idle at the time of the ruptures.

“Experts say that in order to restore work after such a terrorist act, it is necessary to actually cut off a very large piece of pipe, at a great distance, and in fact build a new section on this section,” Miller told the TV station.

“And in order to restore integrity, it must be raised, this pipe. And you understand, it is one thing when the pipe is hollow, yes, and another thing when it is filled with sea water for hundreds of kilometers.”

On Wednesday, Miller, head of the Russian state-controlled natural gas monopoly, said repairs to the damaged Nord Stream pipelines would take more than one year.

Turkey hub

Russian President Vladimir Putin touted Turkey earlier this week as the best route for redirecting gas supplies to the European Union after Nord Stream pipeline leaks. He proposed to set up a gas hub in Turkey.

Miller said that Russia will start “concrete” talks with Turkey next week on the proposals.

He said Russia could boost gas supplies to Turkey by constructing new pipelines in parallel to the currently operational TurkStream pipeline via the Black Sea, adding that the project design documentation has already been prepared.

Miller said the gas supplies via the Black Sea may reach 63 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year. That’s compared to 55 bcm of each of Nord Stream’s capabilities and 31.5 bcm of TurkStream’s transport capacity. 2022.

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