With the latest days reports on gas leaks on the North Stream pipelines near Denmark and Sweden, and Norwegian authorities’ urge of greater alertness after sightings of drones near oil and gas platforms, Norway will set up its military to protect its oil and gas installations from possible sabotage.
Norwegian prime minister, Jonas Gahr Stoere, told reporters the Navy to be positioned at offshore installations while police presence will be increased at facilities on land. Stoere have previously deemed the drones to be of various size and the drone sightings to be abnormal activity.
Following the gas leaks on North Stream pipelines, Danish news media Politiken has reported NATO and the European Union to have warned of a “robust and united response” in case of more attacks and the need to protect critical infrastructure.
Tor Ivar Stroemmen, senior lecturer at the Royal Norwegian Naval Academy, calls on the Norwegian government to realize the Norwegian energy imports to Europe to be the far most important strategic object. Should these imports halt, the Europeans face a complete crisis, he told Reuters, and suggested the government to hire specialized vessels for underwater surveillance.
– “So far, there is a lack of coordination between the oil industry, police and the military, which all have different security responsibilities for on- and offshore installations.”
On Wednesday, Equinor declared to have increased security measures at its installations.
Norway is now Europe’s leading gas and oil supplier with over 90 offshore oil and gas fields connected by gas pipelines stretching approx. 9.000 km.