From Treasures to Trash: Baltic Sea Discoveries with Nord Stream 2

Nord Stream 2 takes the meticulous inspection of the Baltic seafloor and environmental conditions very seriously. That’s because the data provided by our fleet of high-performance vessels is an essential tool in obtaining permits and planning construction. Using the latest technology to collect some of the most resolute 3-D data sets being produced today, we’re mapping a route that will minimise environmental impact and ensure the safe operation of the new natural gas pipeline.

Along the way, the survey team is gathering detailed images of not just geological features, but also the treasures and trash that have come to rest on the seabed over the years. Accurate to within less than one metre, our state-of-the-art technology can identify items as small as a shoe, or explore the haunting details of a wooden galleon ship. Technicians have also discovered evidence of past conflicts such as unexploded ordnance (UXO), and even a World War-II era American bomber.

To minimise seabed intervention, the pipeline route is adjusted to go around objects like UXO wherever possible. And when findings are suspected to be cultural heritage artefacts, the relevant authorities are notified immediately for further investigation. Check out some of Nord Stream 2’s most spectacular survey findings:


To ensure a clear route the survey team must also identify every detail of the seabed, from rock outcrops all the way down to sediment types. During the surveys, technicians also gather detailed data on water depths and man-made features such as cable and other infrastructure on the seabed.

This data spans from the shorelines to depths of 200+ metres, providing baseline information for nearly all aspects of the project, including route optimisation, engineering design, permitting, environmental management and monitoring, financing and insurance, construction, and operations. Thanks to Nord Stream 2’s advanced technology, the 11-stage schedule is being implemented at an ambitious pace. Surveys began in late 2015, and are planned to last until late 2017, with construction starting in early 2018. Find out more about our high-tech surveys here: