As tensions around energy security in Europe mount, TotalEnergies says unusual drone activity has been observed close to an oil field that the French company operates in the Danish North Sea.
The incident is reported to have taken place on Wednesday, September 28, a day after three separate leaks were discovered in two giant natural gas pipelines from Russia to Europe.
While a fourth leak was confirmed by the Swedish coast guard Thursday, TotalEnergies has said in a written statement to Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet that an unauthorized drone was seen near its Halfdan B oil and gas field, which is located some 130 miles west of Denmark’s coast.
The company is in close contact with the Danish authorities who are looking into the matter, and has also taken measures to increase “vigilance around security for all offshore assets and onshore locations.”
Similar reports of mysterious drone sightings near North Sea oil rigs have come from Norway, which is now the biggest supplier of gas to Europe. According to Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority, the government has decided to put measures in place to increase security at infrastructure sites, land terminals, and platforms on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
Meanwhile, the NATO military alliance has joined other governments in citing sabotage as the likely reason for damage to the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea. NATO ambassadors have said in a statement that “any deliberate attack against allies’ critical infrastructure would be met with a united and determined response.” The envoys said:
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.
Russia has also agreed that an incident of this scale would have been impossible without the involvement of a state actor and has scheduled an emergency meeting with the UN Security Council today to discuss the suspected sabotage.
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