Wednesday, November 30, 2022
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Security concerns overshadow Europe’s first new gas link in decades

The pipeline, along with new terminals in Poland and Latvia to receive shipments of liquefied natural gas and new regulations to increase interdependence and reduce barriers, is part of a broader strategy by Europe to loosen the energy monopoly that companies once held. Russian state-owned companies like Gazprom, Benjamin said. L. Schmitt, Harvard Research Associate and former European Energy Security Advisor at the US State Department.

But even the strongest power grids can only function if they are protected, he added. “Those are all key components to security of supply and a well-functioning market, but if you don’t have physical and cyber security to support that market, you’re going to end up with what are effectively statues,” she said.

Baltic Pipe is the third major gas line to run under the Baltic Sea, along with the now broken Nord Stream lines. The Polish pipeline begins in the North Sea west of Denmark, where it branches off from the Europipe II line, one of a network of thousands of miles of pipeline that brings Norwegian natural gas to northern Europe via the North Sea.

With the two Nord Stream pipelines now damaged, Russia’s most efficient means of transporting gas to Europe has been disabled. Although each was filled with limited amounts of gas, none of the Nord Stream arteries were transmitting the fuel at the time of the attack, because Russia had shut down 1 and Germany had never allowed 2 to come online.

The alleged attacks on the pipelines alarmed NATO and European countries, which have increased their patrols in the Baltic Sea. The Polish company that operates Baltic Pipe, Gaz-System, said that, together with the Polish authorities, the underwater section of the new pipeline was under surveillance “permanently by specialized operational services”. The Gaz system declined to give further details.

Experts point out the vulnerability of the entire submarine infrastructure, which beyond the energy pipelines includes thousands of kilometers of communication cables that have been laid on the bottom of the oceans in recent decades to connect a globalized world. Keeping it safe is virtually impossible, Johannes Peters, an expert at Kiel University’s Center for Maritime Strategy and Security, told German reporting collective RND.


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