Nord Stream: BKA warns against further sabotage – drones sighted over the North Sea

According to media reports, the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) is warning the German economy against further sabotage in critical infrastructure. In a letter, state security officials say they are assuming state sabotage in the case of the severely damaged Nord Stream 1 and 2 Baltic Sea pipelines. Meanwhile, illegal drone flights over natural gas fields have also been reported to authorities in Denmark.

The BKA apparently sees the danger of attacks ‘in quantitative and possibly also qualitatively enhanced form’, reports Der Spiegel. Targets can therefore be gas and electricity pipelines, undersea internet cables, offshore wind turbines or LNG terminals. The news magazine quotes from a letter to the German economy.

Based on the nature of the sabotage on the Baltic Sea pipelines, the BKA concludes that there is a state actor. Several leaks have been discovered off the Danish island of Bornholm, from which large quantities of natural gas flowed to the sea surface. The German researchers therefore have no further findings. Researchers and operating company Nord Stream are still waiting for the opportunity to inspect the damaged areas in the sea. Russian state-owned company Gazprom announced on Twitter on Monday that pressure in the affected strands of Nord Stream 1 and 2 had stabilized. No more gas flows from the leaks.

Gazprom is currently working on depressurizing the undamaged Section B of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to verify its integrity. The company believes that it is possible to transport gas through this route, provided the right decisions are made and the regulatory authorities agree. Repairing the damaged three pipeline strands is considered possible in principle. But it is difficult and expensive.

Meanwhile, more unauthorized drone flights have been sighted over the North Sea off the coast of Denmark and reported to authorities. The Danish magazine Offshore Industry reports that the UAVs have appeared twice in a short time, including at the Halfdan B gas and oil field and the Roar natural gas field, 230 kilometers west of the coast. In both cases, the operator of the fields is the energy company TotalEnergies. According to the Danish newspaper Ekstrabladet, commercial drones are out of the question for such long flights. Danish police declined to comment on the incidents.

Such drone flights had also been observed in Norway before the Nord Stream pipelines were damaged. There too, the safety zones of oil production facilities were violated. The Norwegian Oil Exploration Authority has issued a warning to operators. A safety distance of 500 meters must be maintained around the drilling platforms.


(mki)

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