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Norway will beef up its security at its oil and gas installations after three explosions rocked the Nordstream 1 & 2 pipelines, the country’s oil and energy minister said on Tuesday.
Germany’s economy minister also offered words of strength on Tuesday, saying that it knows how to—and can—defend its infrastructure.
This week, both Danish and Swedish authorities reported leaks from both the Nordstream 1 and 2 pipelines in the Baltic Sea. Neither pipeline was operational at the time, but contained gas, which is now leaking into the surrounding waters.
European officials and analysts say the leaks cannot be coincidental. A German official says evidence points to sabotage rather than a mere technical issue.
The Swedish National Seismology Center said that measurement stations in Sweden and Denmark had registered powerful subsea blasts.
13 nautical miles southwest of the Denmark Island of Bornholm, one of the three Nordstream pipeline gas leaks can be seen via satellite. The damage shows a major rupture that can be seen impacting the water across a 700-meter diameter area—nearly a kilometer.
According to Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, there were three leaks across Nordstream 1 and 2. “It is difficult to imagine that it could be accidental,” Frederiksen said. The Polish Prime Minister called it a clear act of sabotage.
The Kremlin said that no cause should be ruled out at this stage.
Just yesterday, Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority cautioned that there had been reports of unidentified drones close to offshore facilities. The PSA warned that not only could it impact the transportation of oil and gas workers onto platforms, but the drones could also be used for deliberate attacks.
The odds of Nordstream 1 resuming operations yet this year are near zero, S&P Platts James Huckstepp said on Tuesday.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.