Essay by Eric Worrall
h/t Breitbart; Inspectors have discovered suspected sabotage, someone apparently drilled 1cm holes in the pipeline.
German prosecutors launch probe into suspected sabotage of LNG pipeline
The investigation comes as Germany seeks to increase its LNG import capacity.
BY LAURA HÜLSEMANN
JANUARY 5, 2024 7:00 PM CET
German federal prosecutors have opened an investigation into a suspected case of sabotage after small holes were found in a liquefied natural gas pipeline under construction in the north of Germany.
Prosecutors have taken over an “investigation into the initial suspicion of anti-constitutional sabotage,” a spokeswoman for the Federal Public Prosecutor General told German public broadcaster NDR.
Read more (German): https://www.politico.eu/article/investigation-suspected-sabotage-lng-pipeline-germany-gasunie/
Drilling multiple holes through such a pipeline shows a fair degree of determination, normally the walls of such pipelines are over an inch thick. Drilling such holes with retail hand tools would probably take at least 20 minutes each of very noisy drilling. While it is not impossible this was a lone wolf attack, in my opinion it seems more likely multiple people were involved.
There is a substantial list of potential suspects.
Last Generation Climate Extremists have performed multiple high profile sabotage attacks against private jets and yachts, as well as the usual activist vandalism of priceless works of art, but they normally do this for publicity. So a secret vandalism attack seems a bit outside their normal pattern of behaviour.
Russia is a potential suspect – the new pipeline is intended to help Germany distribute gas imported by ship, which would further weaken any remaining leverage Russia has over Germany.
Even Ukraine might have a motive for attacking the pipe. Last November Dutch Intelligence accused a Ukrainian military officer of conducting the Nord Stream undersea pipeline attack, under orders from Ukraine. While it might seem counterintuitive that Ukraine would want Germany to be more dependent on Russian gas, Ukraine’s actions might be motivated by ensuring the only Russian gas which can potentially reach Europe has to travel via Ukraine.
How can Germany improve their energy security, in the face of a determined and ongoing sabotage campaign?
A few weeks ago Germany inked a huge deal with Norway to replace the gas they used to import from Russia with Norwegian gas, but someone out there seems determined to manipulate availability of German energy supplies, so it is an open question whether Germany will be able to take advantage of their new Norwegian gas deal.
Frankly I think it’s time Germany considered switching back to coal. While coal can be sabotaged, a coal depot would surely be easier to defend than a long gas pipeline, especially if the coal plant is colocated with the coal mine.
Nuclear plants are also defensible, that big containment dome would take a lot of punishment before it failed. Though some components of nuclear plants such as the cooling system would be difficult to harden against a determined attack.
The electrical distribution network is also hard to defend, as South Africa has discovered. Metal thieves in South Africa have taken to removing just the reinforcing struts from power pylons, leaving the pylons themselves standing. This allows the thieves hours or days to escape and cover their tracks, before the pylons finally fall.
Strangely Germany’s solar and wind facilities haven’t been attacked, but I guess there is no point attacking energy systems which already fail to deliver.