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Norway Beefs Up Oil And Gas Security After Suspected Pipeline Sabotage

Police in west Norway have increased security measures and patrols at and around oil and gas infrastructure, after the suspected sabotage of the gas pipeline between Finland and Estonia in the Baltic Sea, a police representative told Norwegian daily Bergensavisen (BA).

“We have increased our focus on preventive patrolling at oil and gas installations in our area,” operations manager Helge Blindheim in the West police district told BA in Bergen, which is home to or close to many oil and gas installations.

The West police district in Norway is closely following the situation, Blindheim told BA. 

After the Nord Stream sabotage last year, Norway posted soldiers from its Home Guard to protect energy infrastructure as Western Europe's largest oil and gas producer. The deployment of the soldiers came after Norwegian police requested assistance from the Army to prevent incidents. Securing and guarding critical civil and military infrastructure is one of the Home Guard’s core tasks, the Norwegian Army said in October 2022.

After a leak of suspected unnatural causes shut down the Balticconnector offshore pipeline between Finland and Estonia this weekend, Norway hasn’t resorted to similar measures, yet.

One year after the Nord Stream pipeline blasts, the specter of sabotage on critical energy infrastructure in Europe is back.  

“Based on information from the Finnish Border Guard, Gasgrid Finland has given its expert assessment according to which the damage was not caused by the normal gas transmission process,” the Finnish government said on Tuesday. 

“It is likely that the damage to both the gas pipeline and the data cable is caused by external activity. What specifically caused the damage is not yet known,” Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said in a statement on Tuesday.

The investigation continues in cooperation between Finland and Estonia, and NATO is ready to assist with it, the president added.

Finland joined NATO earlier this year after its neighbor to the east, Russia, invaded Ukraine in February 2022.    

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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