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Norway, Europe's main supplier of gas

2024-02-12 22:41:00, Kosova & Bota CNA

Norway, Europe's main supplier of gas

Europe's growing dependence on Norwegian oil and gas has increased the risks of an attack on that country's energy infrastructure, the head of one of the agencies charged with energy security told Reuters news agency.

In 2022, Norway overtook Russia to become Europe's largest supplier of natural gas after Moscow's aggression against Ukraine led to a breakdown in energy relations and caused fuel prices to rise.

"I am concerned about the dependence and there is no doubt that Europe has become more dependent on Norwegian gas ," said Mr. Lars Christian Aamodt, head of the National Security Authority, in an interview.

"With the increase in addiction, the threat and danger increases ," he said. The three Norwegian intelligence agencies presented their annual threat assessments.

The National Security Authority said European dependence on Norwegian oil and gas could increase further if conflicts in the Middle East hurt the oil market.

In addition, Norwegian oil and gas facilities could be hit by "accidents, physical sabotage and devastating cyber attacks," the country's military intelligence service (E-service) said in its special report.

Russia's survey and mapping of Norwegian infrastructure is continuing as usual, Admiral Nils Andreas Stensoenes, director of the E-service agency, told Reuters.

"They continue the surveillance program almost unaffected by the war ," he said.

Last October's incident on the Baltic Sea bed where a gas pipeline and telecom cable connecting Finland and Estonia were damaged served as a wake-up call to the dangers of sabotage, the head of the Norwegian Police Security Service, PST, said. "It has raised awareness for many people, also in Norway," Mr Beate Gangaas told the Reuters news agency.

Finnish police say the Chinese container ship NewNew Polar Bear is the main suspect, saying it dragged its anchor to the bottom of the sea. They have not yet concluded whether it was an accident or an intentional act.

Two other cables, one connecting Sweden and Estonia and one Russian, were also damaged around that time./ VOA

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