Norway ups security at oil installations after Nord Stream leaks

AFP/The Local
AFP/The Local - [email protected] • 28 Sep, 2022 Updated Wed 28 Sep 2022 09:50 CEST
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Norway will beef up security at offshore facilities. Pictured: A worker sits inside a crane on the Sleipner gas platform, some 250 kms off Norway's coast in the North Sea. (Photo by Daniel Sannum Lauten / AFP

Norway, now the biggest supplier of gas to Europe, will beef up security around its oil installations, it said following allegations of sabotage on Nord Stream's Baltic Sea pipelines.

"The government has decided to put measures in place to increase security at infrastructure sites, land terminals and platforms on the Norwegian continental shelf," Norwegian Energy Minister Terje Aasland said in a statement late Tuesday.

The announcement came after three unexplained gas leaks, preceded by two explosions, occurred on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines on Monday, as well as recent drone observations reported by oil companies around their platforms in Norwegian waters. European leaders have blamed the leaks on sabotage.

After the drone observations, the Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority earlier this week called for "increased vigilance from all operators and shipping companies on the continental shelf", noting that they could cause an accident or attack.

Concerns intensified after the spectacular gas leaks on Nord Stream's pipelines linking Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea.

"Many things could suggest that it is an act of sabotage", Aasland said. Norway has become Europe's main gas supplier in the wake of the war in Ukraine, taking the place of Russia.

The prime ministers of Denmark and Sweden have said the cause of the leaks were deliberate acts rather than accidents. 

“The clear advice from the authorities is they were deliberate acts. We are not talking about an accident,” Danish prime minister Mette Fredriksen told a press conference. “We don’t have information yet about those responsible.”

Her Swedish counterpart Magdalena Andersson said at a press conference in Stockholm later on Tuesday that the leaks “probably are the result of a deliberate act, so probably sabotage.”

The Scandinavian country has a vast network of pipelines linking it to the continent, which experts have said are at risk of sabotage.

READ MORE: Baltic Sea foams as gas leaks from damaged Nord Stream pipeline

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AFP/The Local 2022/09/28 09:50

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