A British warship departed for Norway on Monday to take part in NATO war exercises, as Norway’s security chief told Reuters that the country’s oil and gas installations were at risk of attack by Russia.
“I am concerned about dependency, and there is no doubt that Europe has become more dependent on Norwegian gas,” Lars Christian Aamodt, head of the National Security Authority, told Reuters.
“As soon as the dependency increases, so will the threat and the risk,” he said.
Furthermore, the Norwegian security chief predicted that the threat could rise as the Israel-Hamas war expands into other venues.
The NSA head said the country’s oil and gas facilities were vulnerable to physical sabotage cyberattacks, and noted Russia’s ongoing surveillance of the country’s energy infrastructure.
Last October, Norway began to increase security measures around its oil and gas infrastructure following a suspected sabotage incident on a gas pipeline between Finland and Estonia in the Baltic Sea.
Norway remains a key potential target for Moscow since it surpassed Russia in 2022 as the biggest supplier of energy to Europe.
Norway’s efforts to further enhance security offshore come amid consistently rising tensions between Russia and NATO. On Monday, Moscow reportedly deployed two nuclear-capable missile carriers over the Norwegian Sea, with NATO responding by scrambling jets.
Also on Monday, Norway’s Defense Minister, Bjørn Arild Gram, told reporters at an intelligence conference that “the current security situation is serious.”
“There is a full-scale invasion war ongoing in Europe. We are standing at a crossroads […],” he said.
“Small states like Norway must maneuver with wisdom and take security policy risks into account in decisions made in all sectors,” he added.
Norway’s National Intelligence Agency chief told reporters that “Developments have unfortunately gone in the wrong direction”.
“It’s a more dangerous situation now than it was at the beginning of 2023,” the intelligence head said.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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