Another gas pipeline exploded in the Baltic Sea
International ties between Finland and Estonia have been severely disrupted after damage was discovered to the Baltic Connector undersea gas pipeline and telecommunications cable connecting the two countries. Finnish President Sauli Niinistö mentioned in a statement that it is likely that “the damage to both the gas pipeline and the communication cable is the result of external activity.” The location of the accident was quickly determined, however, the full details of the incident have not yet been disclosed.
The situation has attracted international attention and raised concerns about the potential implications for regional security and stability. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg expressed the alliance’s readiness to exchange information regarding the incident and coordinate efforts to resolve this problem.
It is known that a strong explosion was recorded during the incident, which may indicate sabotage, however, so far there have been no official statements from either Estonia or Finland in this regard.
Suspected Sabotage In Probe Into Baltic Natural Gas Pipeline Leak
Ongoing investigations into a leak that halted natural gas supply between Finland and Estonia this weekend proceed with the assumption that it could have been sabotage, sources with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg on Tuesday.
The offshore Balticconnector pipeline that transports natural gas between Finland to Estonia was shut down because of a suspected leak that occurred in the early hours of October 8. The 77-km pipeline carries natural gas from Finland, where there is an LNG import terminal, to Estonia. The piece of infrastructure has an annual capacity of 2.6 billion cubic meters.
The investigation is ongoing and no formal conclusions have been made yet, according to Bloomberg’s sources.
Finland’s government is expected to update the media on the state of the probe later on Tuesday.
“The state of the Finnish gas system is stable, and the supply of gas is secured via the Inkoo LNG floating terminal,” Finnish gas grid operator Gasgrid said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Market players have been instructed to ensure the gas supply they need by ordering it to Inko or the Hamina LNG terminal, so that the continuity of the gas supply is secured in the coming winter season,” Gasgrid added.
Report of sabotage could rekindle concerns about attacks on energy infrastructure in Europe after last year’s sabotage on the Nord Stream pipelines in still unexplained circumstances. The Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which was carrying gas from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea, was sabotaged in September 2022 just outside Swedish and Danish territorial waters in the Baltic Sea.
Concerns about gas supply to Europe for the winter amid the halt of the Balticconnector pipeline and the shutdown of Israeli offshore gas field Tamar following the Hamas attack sent the front-month futures of Europe’s benchmark natural gas prices rallying by 12% as of 12:59 p.m. GMT on Tuesday.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com