Bovanenkovo it is the largest field in Yamal in terms of gas reserves exploitation in the Russian Arctic . Bovanenkovo – Ukhta 2 is one of four natural gas pipelines on the Yamal Peninsula, built by state-owned company Gazprom . The Yamal Peninsula is a strategic place for two main development programs in the Russian Arctic: an energy source of oil and gas industries and modernisation of the Arctic's infrastructure .
Constructed in 2012, the Ukhta 2 pipeline was officially launched in 2017 . It is 1,200 km long, and covers the route from Bovanenkovo to Russia’s Unified Gas Supply System in Ukhta. One part of the pipeline, however, with 287,2 km is placed 5 meters below the Kara sea in Baydaratskaya Bay (see photos)   .
The capacity of the pipeline 2 is 77,5 billion cubic meters per year . It runs parallel to an existing pipeline Bovanenkovo – Ukhta 1 with the same capacity. Its opening therefore doubled capacity to a total of 155 billion cubic meters per year . Theoretically, therefore, the Bovanenkovo – Ukhta 2doubled the amount of Arctic gas that flows to Europe every year .
The president of Russia announced the project in 2017 with the following statement: "The northern gas transportation corridor will become the main supply route for shipping gas to regions in European Russia, getting more locations connected to the gas supply network and boosting socio-economic development" .
On May 21st, 2019, however, a part of the pipeline under the sea in the Baydaratskaya Bay broke down  . Gazprom defended the project decision arguing that construction of the pipeline under the sea was a good decision because it avoids permafrost melting but also helps to preserve free migration routes for animal herds . Namely, the Yamal peninsula where the gas field is situated, and where the pipeline cross through, is also a place where traditional reindeer herders indigenous group --- Nenets --- use as a route for their yearly migrations. Over a thousand kilometers, Nenets move gigantic herds of reindeer from summer pastures in the north to winter pastures just south of the Arctic Circle .
The Nenets, have always opposed any mega gas and oil projects on their traditional reindeer route territories  . Due to the pipelines on the land or otherwise, Nenets argue how for three whole years they could not reach the Kara Sea in the south. "Either pipelines or warm summers are changing our grazing lands" .
Since the pipeline incident, Gazprom tries to dig and fix a five-meter deep trench on the Baydarata sea bottom, where the affected pipeline lays. The total length of the areas planned for repair is about 9.2 km. Gazprom is hiring engineers specialised in underwater gas pipeline construction. Some skeptics fear, however, that the pipeline won't be fixed before 2022-2023  . At the same time, the environmental damage and hazard produced by the accident are kept confidential  . The alternative environmental media The Barents Observer reported on the incident .
A recent research has demonstrated that direct impact of underwater pipelines in the Arctic include physical destruction of underwater and coastal landscape and its inhabitants. The construction furthermore covers the sea bottom, coastal, and terrestrial habitats with soil particles. It also changes stream patterns resulting in shifts in sediment formation rates . The indirect impact of underwater pipelines in the Arctic may include water quality deterioration due to increasing suspended solids (water turbidity) concentration and stormwater and wastewater discharges .
Governmental representatives and the company, so far, have not reported the impacts of the broken underwater pipeline on the environment nor the potential environmental effects for its reparation .