German Navy Helping Norway Protect Offshore Oil Rigs and Pipelines
German Navy Helping Norway Protect Offshore Oil Rigs and Pipelines

German Navy Helping Norway Protect Offshore Oil Rigs and Pipelines

The German navy is helping Norway to protect critical maritime infrastructure such as oil rigs, undersea cables, and pipelines, and is ready to do the same off the Danish and Swedish coasts. NATO has pledged to boost the protection of critical infrastructure after the ruptures in September in the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines, laid on the bed of the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany. Bordering Russia in the north, Norway is Europe’s biggest producer of natural gas and oil and has an extremely long coast that is hard to protect. It operates an extensive network of pipelines that connect the country with Britain and Europe.

Norway’s prime minister also said it would deploy its military to protect its oil and gas installations. Sweden and Denmark have both concluded that four leaks on Nord Stream 1 and 2 were caused by explosions, but have not said who might be responsible. Details of which ships are deployed where are not usually given. The German Navy had three frigates and a supply ship with some 700 sailors for exercises in the Norway region that would also help monitor the situation, coordinated with NATO. The German navy was making good on Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s promise to support Norway, Denmark and Sweden in protecting their maritime infrastructure after the Nord Stream incidents.

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Nord Stream (German-English mixed expression; German: Nord and English: Stream, literally ‘North Stream’; Russian: ???????? ?????, Severny potok) is a network of offshore natural gas pipelines in Europe which run under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany. It comprises two separate projects, Nord Stream 1 and 2. Both pipelines each comprise two pipes, NS1 A and B as well as NS2 A and B, for a total of 4 physical pipes. Both pipelines land in Lubmin, Germany. Nord Stream 1 (NS1) runs from Vyborg, in northwestern Russia near Finland, and entered service in 2011. It is operated by Nord Stream AG. Nord Stream 2 (NS2) runs from Ust-Luga in northwestern Russia near Estonia.

The 2022 Nord Stream gas leaks were a series of explosions and subsequent underwater gas leaks that occurred on the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipelines on 26 September 2022. Both pipeline pairs were built to transport natural gas from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea, and are majority owned by the Russian majority state-owned gas company, Gazprom. The leaks happened as the Baltic Pipe was being opened for natural gas to come in from the North Sea through Denmark to Poland and are believed to have been caused by intentional sabotage; however, the perpetrators’ identities and the motives behind such intentional sabotage remain debated.

German Navy type 702 Berlin-class replenishment ship and frigate Schleswig-Holstein next to troll a platform in Norway.
German Navy type 702 Berlin-class replenishment ship and frigate Schleswig-Holstein next to troll a platform in Norway. (Photo by German Navy/Deutsche Marine)

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