Faced With ‘Acts Of Sabotage’, EU Countries Rush To Secure Energy Assets
Multiple explosions under the Baltic Sea and the rupture of the Nord Stream pipeline system from Russia to Germany appear to be “sabotage,” NATO and EU officials said this week. A fourth leak was confirmed Thursday on the pipelines as EU countries are in overdrive to secure energy infrastructure that could be future targets.
“The main message sent by this act, described as ‘sabotage,’ is the vulnerability of all this equipment,” Phuc-Vinh Nguyen, an energy researcher at the Institut Jacques-Delors Paris think tank, told the French newspaper Le Monde.
Nguyen warned, “if such ‘accidents’ happened on a natural gas pipeline between Norway and Europe or Algeria and Europe, for example, it would be really problematic.”
Across the EU, warning after NS1 and NS2 were taken out by “highly effective explosive devices” has forced several countries to beef up the security of critical energy infrastructure this week.
We first reported Norway, now Europe’s top NatGas supplier (displacing Russia), increased security at infrastructure sites, land terminals, and platforms on the Norwegian continental shelf. The country’s Petroleum Safety Authority warned that there had been reports of mysterious drones buzzing offshore platforms.
Drones have also been spotted at France’s TotalEnergies offshore rigs in the Danish North Sea, igniting concerns that someone or even possibly a nation-state is trying to spark havoc for the European energy industry, according to Bloomberg.
The mysterious drone was spotted Wednesday near its Halfdan B oil and gas field, TotalEnergies said, adding it has increased “vigilance around security for all of our offshore assets and onshore locations.”
“I just hope that there is no idea behind it to extend the war beyond the border of Ukraine to the North Sea,” Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne told Bloomberg in an interview.
Offshore Energies UK (OEUK) is also increasing the security of offshore and onshore assets. The UK Ministry of Defence said protecting North Sea oil and NatGas rigs falls under its purview.
“The Ministry of Defence constantly observes its areas of responsibility and interest, this includes protecting critical infrastructure such as underwater cables and offshore structures,” a spokesperson for the government department said.
Italy is another county taking immediate steps to protect energy assets. Bloomberg reported Italian Armed Forces are set to increase security patrols of trans-Mediterranean gas pipelines.
Defense Minister Lorenzo Guerini and other officials will deploy submersible drones to monitor NatGas pipelines in the Mediterranean region, particularly tubes from northern Africa.
EU leaders and top energy companies across the bloc have received the message (from whoever blew up NS1 & NS2) that securing energy infrastructure ahead of winter is a high priority.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm warned Thursday that LNG carriers en route to Europe need increased security.
Remember, the CIA warned Germany weeks before NS1 & NS2 attacks.
Sat, 10/01/2022 – 09:55