Most media sources have elaborately described possible scenarios on how the Soviets- er, Russians could have sabotaged the Nord Stream pipeline. Most news sources are amazed at the scale of the attack, and how it was executed without anyone noticing. All media sources I’ve seen focused on how it could have been done externally. The scenarios currently presented involve the use of: a submarine, drones, mines, torpedoes, and even deep-sea divers.
Nobody (yet) has considered how easy it is to sabotage the pipeline internally.
“Inside” Job Explained
It’s easy to destroy these pipelines without anyone noticing… from within.
I’m not talking about sending someone inside the pipe to destroy it James Bond-style. Not only is the internal space less-than 4 feet wide, but that’s a claustrophobic journey over 500 miles from the Russian side of the pipeline!
Think of how oil/chemical companies maintain pipelines. I once worked at a major oil company and underwent cross-training to better understand how the company maintains pipelines. According to the training, internal inspection and maintenance is performed by devices commonly called “pigs”. Most pigs are propelled by the flow of product, but self-propelled models have been used for years to maintain stagnant pipes and do detailed investigations. More extensive inspections can be done using self-propelled robotic drones, which come in handy when the pipe is stagnant.
All someone needs to do is attach explosives onto these devices and send them down the pipe on a maintenance run. Pigs and drones have tracking devices built-in to allow operators to monitor them as they move down the pipe. Once they reach the desired location, all it takes is a few key-strokes and…
You sabotaged a pipeline!
Recall that I mentioned the distance was over 500 miles? If the pipeline was pressurized, a pig could make the trip in about a day (depending on flow-speed). Since the pipeline was supposedly shutdown, it would take a self-propelled drone or pig 1 week to reach the sabotaged locations. Maybe 2 weeks given the explosive nature of such a mission.
What if it wasn’t sabotage?
- How, given the current situation between Russia and the western world?
- How is it possible for a spontaneous and incredibly localized earthquake to rupture the pipeline at so many locations?
- How can a maritime accident do the same?
- How could such leaks happen at different locations, simultaneously (according to most media reports)?
I’d sooner believe that terrorists from Skyrim sabotaged the pipeline. Imagine a bunch of Nords yelling:
“This pipeline BELONGS TO THE NORDS!”
I’m just an average guy who paid attention and remembers the training received working at an oil company, so take my “expert opinion” with a grain of kosher Himalayan salt. With all this talk about covert military sabotage, I can’t believe nobody thought to ask anyone who worked in the oil/chemical, or natural gas industry how it could have been done internally.
 4 ft Wide: Offshore Technology. (2022, March 1). Nord Stream 2 Pipeline, Russia and Germany. Retrieved from Offshore Technology: https://www.offshore-technology.com/projects/nord-stream-2-pipeline/
 Pressure/Self-Propelled Pig: Since the Nord Stream pipeline hasn’t been in service, The Russians would have needed to use a self-propelled pig. Otherwise, the pipeline would need to be temporarily pressurized for maintenance to allow the flow to transport a pressure-driven version.
 Bethesda Game Studios. (2011, November 11). The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Bethesda Softworks.