Norway took immediate action after the 26 September discovery of the severely damaged Nord Stream 1 & 2 gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea of the Danish and Swedish coasts to increase pipeline inspections on its 8,800-km pipeline network connecting Norway with continental Europe and Britain.
“Together with Equinor, we have intensified the inspection programme based on this situation,” Gassco Chief Executive Frode Leversund said in an interview.
Bolstering its response, Norway has deployed its armed forces to guard the pipelines and offshore platforms.
The Nordic country has become Europe’s top pipeline gas supplier since Russia cut deliveries to the region following its invasion of Ukraine, with Moscow blaming the cuts on technical issues caused by Western sanctions.
“We are doing more inspections now than we would have done in a normal situation,” Mr Leversund added. “Under its regular maintenance programme, inspections are risk-based,” he explained.
According to Refinitiv vessel-tracking data, the Havila Subsea offshore supply vessel - equipped with remotely operated subsea vehicles - has spent the last weeks seemingly inspecting Norwegian pipelines to Germany and Belgium.
Another vessel, the Volantis, has visited the key Sleipner gas transport hub, as well as another section of the Statpipe and Norpipe links ending at Germany’s Emden terminal.