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October 02, 2022

The Nordstream Explosions: Sabotage, Or General Incompetence?

In the rush to blame someone for the twin explosions in The Baltic Sea, the question of "cui bono" remains to be answered. Ignoring the Polish EU Parliament representative's silly comment and the usual suspects spouting nonsense without one bit of data to bolster their points, a sober look at the issue yields...nothing.

Why would Russia blow up its own pipelines, when they could simply close the valves (they weren't pumping gas anyway) and make up any number of stories without having to repair any damage? And if they are seeking a casus belli, why would they damage one of their sources of foreign currency? There are many ways to start a war with America, assuming they want one (they don't) that would work much better!

And if they want to expand the war in Ukraine, they could easily create another flash point that is easily blamed on the Ukrainian government, rather than explosions far from Ukraine with multiple possible explanations.

Why would The United States blow up the pipelines? The loss of natural gas supply in Europe will simply make this winter even more miserable than expected, and if anything that will pressure the European countries that depend on Russian gas to be more flexible and accomodationist with Russia. They want the gas to flow so they can be warm and criticize Russia in comfort. And the Biden junta is clearly on the side of Ukraine, at least judging by the amount of graft military aid flowing to them and the chaotic rhetoric emerging from the White House, so why create conditions that would support a peaceful and quick resolution to the war, with terms advantageous to Russia?

Or we can respect Occam's Razor, which suggests that the simplest explanation is often the best one. And in the cold light of day, who would bet against crappy Russian maintenance and top-down management of a problem that causes a much, much bigger problem?


In my experience when anything involving energy-industry hydrocarbons explodes … well, sabotage isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. And honestly, when it comes to a pipeline running natural gas under Russian (non)maintenance, an explosion means that it’s Tuesday. Or Friday. Or another day of the week ending in “y”.

“But, LawDog,” I hear you say, “It was multiple explosions!”

Yes, 17 hours apart. No military is going to arrange for two pipes in the same general area to be destroyed 17 hours apart. Not without some Spec Ops guy having a fit of apoplexy. One pipe goes up in a busy shipping lane, in a busy sea, and everyone takes notice. Then you wait 17 hours to do the second — with 17 hours for people to show up and catch you running dirty? Nah, not buying it.

The Nord pipelines weren’t in use. To me, that means it’s time for maintenance! Hard to maintain pipes when product is flowing.

Pipelines running methane, under saltwater, require PMCS* quicker than you’d think, and more often than you’d believe.

I would bet a cup of coffee that any of the required weekly and monthly checks and services since the Russians took over have been pencil-whipped. (See Andreev Bay 1982.)

I have no expertise in these matters, but LawDog makes a good case for an accident. There are holes in his theory, but without much data, it's better than most! But would I be surprised if we discover that it was indeed sabotage? Nope! The stupidity that would have driven the accidents would also do admirably well with sabotage, and that includes American involvement. Underestimating the stupidity of the Biden junta or the Kalorama Klowns who are controlling them is not productive.

[Hat Tip: dhmosquito]

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posted by CBD at 12:00 PM

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