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NATO vows 'united and determined' response in event of energy infrastructure attacks

Highlights

Nord Stream damage 'deliberate, reckless and irresponsible' sabotage

Supports investigations to determine origin of damage

Vows response to 'hybrid tactics by state and non-state actors'

  • Author
  • Nick Coleman
  • Editor
  • Jonathan Fox
  • Commodity
  • Natural Gas
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  • Western Europe
  • Topic
  • Europe Energy Price Crisis War in Ukraine

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization on Sept. 29 vowed a "united and determined" response in the event of deliberate attacks on critical energy infrastructure, describing recent damage to the Nord Stream gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea as deliberate acts of sabotage and a risk to shipping that also entailed substantial environmental damage.

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In a statement, the defense alliance's governing council voiced "deep concern" about the Nord Stream pipeline damage, without naming a suspected culprit. It came as media reported the discovery of a fourth leak in the Nord Stream system, with two leaks detected so far in Danish waters and two in Swedish waters.

"All currently available information indicates that this is the result of deliberate, reckless, and irresponsible acts of sabotage. These leaks are causing risks to shipping and substantial environmental damage. We support the investigations underway to determine the origin of the damage," NATO said.

"We, as allies, have committed to prepare for, deter and defend against the coercive use of energy and other hybrid tactics by state and non-state actors. Any deliberate attack against allies' critical infrastructure would be met with a united and determined response."

The statement comes amid heightened tensions between NATO and Russia over the war in Ukraine.

On Sept. 27, Norway, Western Europe's largest oil and gas producer, announced it was raising its emergency preparedness following sightings of unidentified drones close to offshore oil and gas facilities, saying that military and other security forces were responding to the issue.

UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly also said his country would "work alongside our European partners to protect Europe's energy security."

The UK's Health and Safety Executive, responsible for safety and security at oil and gas platforms, told S&P Global Commodity Insights it was unaware of any "unusual" drone activity in the immediate vicinity of oil and gas facilities.

A spokesperson for the UK defense ministry said the ministry "constantly observes its areas of responsibility and interest. This includes protecting critical infrastructure such as underwater cables and offshore structures."

UK upstream industry group Offshore Energies UK said it was "engaging" with a range of UK authorities on "resilience and security" of UK energy supply.

"The physical security of offshore and onshore energy infrastructure continues to be part of these regular engagements," OEUK's director for health, safety and operations, Mark Wilson, said.