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Sabotage, Drones, And Sham Referendums Send Geopolitical Risk Soaring

Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict

Leaks discovered Monday in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, which carry natural gas to Germany, have been determined by authorities in Europe to have been caused by underwater explosions in the Baltic Sea they suspect were the result of sabotage. There are two leaks, miles apart from each other, which suggests it is not a random occurrence. Investigations are underway, with the West accusing Russia and Russia accusing the U.S. of what would amount to a false flag operation to force Europe’s hand into tougher, more unified action against Moscow. The pipelines were not transmitting any natural gas at the time of the explosions/leaks, as Gazprom had cut off flows indefinitely. The German navy has been deployed to investigate, and Norway is deploying its military for security. Ships in the area are on high alert. Expect a high level of rhetoric and saber-rattling to roil oil markets as this further unfolds.

Earlier this week–and before the Nord Stream pipeline explosions–Norway had warned oil and gas companies that it had seen unidentified drones flying around oil and gas fields in the North Sea. On Thursday, Total said it, too, had witnessed additional unauthorized drone activity around Halfdan B, a Danish oil and gas field in the North Sea. Total spotted the drones on Wednesday. Total did not specify how many drones it witnessed, nor the activity of the drones.

Russia’s sham referendums held in…

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