Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre has announced the mobilisation of the country’s military to safeguard its offshore facilities from potential sabotage. This follows multiple countries reporting gas leaks from Russian pipelines to Europe.
The Norwegian government has adopted emergency management measures for onshore and offshore installations on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS).
Støre said in a news conference: “The military will be more visible at Norwegian oil and gas installations,” and he stated that the attack would be “handled jointly with our allies.” On Wednesday, he stated that “abnormal” drone sightings of various sizes took place in September.
Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Aasland said: “An investigation is ongoing. [Generally], there is a high awareness [of] operational safety on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority received many warnings from NCS operator companies regarding the observation of unidentifiable drones/aircraft near offshore assets. It has encouraged all NCS operators and vessel owners to be more vigilant.
According to Reuters, the EU believes the gas leaks on Russia’s undersea pipelines to Europe were sabotaged. The bloc has threatened a ‘strong’ response to any intentional damage to its energy infrastructure.
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Aasland says: “Based on the information we have seen so far, several factors indicate acts of sabotage.”
On Tuesday, European countries detected “unexplained” leaks in two Russian gas pipelines under the Baltic sea near Sweden and Denmark. If the attack is confirmed to be deliberate, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has guaranteed the ‘strongest possible response.’