If there were any lingering doubts as to whether something akin to a worst-case scenario is now the base case in Europe's ongoing energy crisis, they were put to bed Tuesday. "It's hard to imagine these are coincidences," Denmark's prime minister Mette Frederiksen said, addressing natural gas leaks in Danish waters. The Danish military released footage showing bubbles in the Baltic. The source: The Nord Stream network. The leaks were discovered by a Norwegian F-16 interceptor response unit, ac
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15 thoughts on “Sabotage

  1. Isn’t it the US that benefits? Now Germany doesn’t have the option to capitulate and back off from supporting Ukraine in exchange for cheap Russian gas. Meanwhile US is building LNG terminals and gains market share in Europe.

    1. @Bay Watch You can’t possibly be serious. You think the CIA swam out into the Baltic, dynamited the Nord Stream under the noses of Denmark, Sweden and Norway, in an effort to dupe Germany into supporting Ukraine for longer than they otherwise might all in a revenue generation scheme for US LNG?

      Folks, let me just be as upfront as I can be about this because I think people need a reality check and there are a lot of new readers here over the past two months who might not be apprised of my position: The counter-narrative on Ukraine that you’re exposed to on social media and on various portals, including some finance-focused portals based in the US, is Kremlin sponsored. In some cases directly. Much of the retweets and sharing you see is bot activity aimed at amplifying the message and sowing distrust among the electorate in Western democracies. Through that echo chamber, otherwise sane people are inadvertently roped into Kremlin propaganda.

      I’m avowedly against Kremlin counter-narrative or even the appearance of it. I won’t countenance it. There are plenty of web portals that will. This isn’t one of them.

        1. And lest I should come across as unduly capricious, I’d kindly ask readers to consider that although I do have a lot of “everyday” people reading the site from their personal computers, phones, etc., a sizable portion of my subscriber base is what I’d call “staid” professionals. So, people at the office. At actual desks. Not “on the desk” where that’s some reference to hungover traders staring at terminals. I have to respect the fact that people come here for reliable, fact-based coverage — the sort of coverage you can have on your work computer without worrying about it. I’m not suggesting the comment above was especially egregious (it obviously wasn’t). It’s just that I’m very careful to respect the fact that most people accessing this site at work are just trying to get information. Good information. If that means occasionally missing an actual conspiracy, that’s fine with me. I can always go back and chuckle at how naive I was if it turns out later there was something afoot that I missed. What I can’t do, though, is take it back if I put something out there that’s speculative and untrue. That better-safe-than-sorry approach is a good one. I promise it is. Especially in the 2020s.

          1. Cheers, Heisenberg! Like Biscuit, I also very much appreciate your diligence and accuracy. And I agree with erring on the side of caution you in regard to the many discreet stems and twigs of Russian messaging.

            I’ve enjoyed your perspectives and writing for several years. I plan to stick around and make contributions to the conversation when I can.

      1. Bay watch did not say anything similar to “CIA swam out into the Baltic, dynamited the Nord Stream under the noses of Denmark, Sweden and Norway”. Bay watch just points out who will be benefit. If you disagree, you should argue that US did not benefit from this, not making the points which Bay watch did not say.

        1. I’m not going to entertain this any further. The US doesn’t benefit from this. It’s ridiculous. The US doesn’t need to dream up a scheme to secure an incremental LNG revenue stream at some future date when Europe is already willing to buy as much natural gas from producers other than Russia as anybody is willing to sell them. You think Europe is just going to go happily back to Russian gas after all this? The last six months has been a desperate, all-hands-on-deck effort to secure alternative supplies so that they never have to depend on Moscow again. And how else would that happen by the way? “Swim” is obviously not supposed to be taken literally, but somebody had to sabotage it if it was indeed sabotaged. Unless you reckon it was telekinesis. Also, I guess the fact that it happened within the same 24-hour window that Russia (through Gazprom) threatened to sanction Naftogaz is a coincidence? I’m closing the comments on this article for obvious reasons. I don’t have time to police them.

  2. Hmm. I think this is good news.

    I expected the winter to be so hard for Europe and Germany in particular, that there was a real risk of the EU caving to Putin. Germany’s Mittelstand could be hollowed out by energy prices, Europe’s electrical grid may break down, European countries may start barring energy exports to their neighbors, populist parties may pursue an every-country-for-itself policy.

    But if Putin has irreversibly cut off Russia’s ability to pipe gas to Europe, in large quantity anyway, then the gains from caving diminish.

    Closer to home, I’ve been adding back to energy as the stocks have been hit. Crack spreads are turning up, US storage is low, SPR releases will end (soon), Freeport liquefication trains will restart (4Q, 1Q?), China could ease off on the Covid lockdowns and rely more on its mRNA and nasal vaccines, Saudi may get serious about turning oil prices up, and, as stated, Europe is going to be desperate for energy this winter and possibly next.

  3. IDK, I think I’m with the NYT here. If it was Russia it would have made a lot more sense to go after pipe from Norway to Poland that just inaugurated today. If Putin is still confident of eventual victory he wants the pipelines intact for when Germany and the EU cave in. While prices spiked today I would expect they will return to where they were since there is no real change to the supply picture. That being said, suggestions that it was the US or Ukraine are even more ludicrous.

  4. Just how much provocation is Germany willing to put up with before they start shipping Leopards and other heavier weaponry in useful numbers? Merkel had to be dragged into the lightest of sanctions after Putin shot 300 europeans out of the sky back in 2014. 8 years later, after a complete severing of energy ties, a barbaric invasion/“de-nazification” of a country led by a Jew, and attempts to ensure that Europeans freeze to death over the coming winter, the best Scholz can come up with is more sanctions and some antiquated artillery?

    The whole German psyche is broken. 80 years of guilt has ruined it. Which is ironic, since the primary lesson of WW2 is supposed to be that the Holocaust was not a product of some uniquely-German mindset, and insisting that it was gives fascism a free-reign across the rest of the world. Everyone is capable of becoming a willing executioner (Goldhagen’s discredited pop history aside), and the only way out is to stand up to fascists and demagogues at the outset, before the momentum of death becomes too great to stop without another armageddon.

    Maybe the shock of a cold winter is just what Germany needs after 80 years of self-flagellation.

  5. H-Man, couldn’t agree more, the Russian (KGB) playbook always reads the same. Freeing Ukraine from Nazi’s, invasion of Georgia to save the people, elections in Ukraine for annexation. Dream up some excuse, put some lipstick on it, walla it is no longer a pig. Why take the blame for cutting off the gas to Germany when you can blame the CIA for blowing up the pipeline? These fantasy tales by the Kremlin are done to assuage the general population of Russia which hasn’t taken kindly to mobilization. I mean the Russian people can count. So the Kremlin press release on mobilization said they has lost 5,000 soldiers in Ukraine, why are you calling up 300,000 soldiers?

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