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NATO allies to help Nordic countries patrol oil and gas installations after Nord Stream incidents

F-35 North Sea patrols
Norwegian F-35 fighters fly over Draugen oil field in the North Sea. Photo: Norwegian defense ministry

French, German and United Kingdom military assets will be contributing to the safety of oil and gas installations in the North Sea and Baltic Sea, following the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines, an act now widely attributed to Russia.

This was first confirmed by Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre who told media on Friday that the country was “in discussion with our allies to increase the presence in Norwegian waters and has accepted German, French and British contributions.”

The actions are being taken after first ruptures in Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines in the Baltic Sea were detected on September 26.

Norway has already sent navy and coast guard ships to patrol its oil and gas installations, in addition to increasing fighter aircraft overflights. Norway is taking the security of its installations seriously as it has assumed the role of one of the leading gas suppliers to Europe following the onset of the Russian invasion in Ukraine in February this year.

“I understand that people are worried that something similar may happen to our oil and gas installations,” Støre said on Friday. “We have no indication that there are direct threats against the Norwegian oil and gas sector” he noted.

Støre did not elaborate on the form of support that would be provided by the UK, France and Germany.

Denmark, who also has offshore oil and gas platforms, has deployed frigate HDMS Absalon and the environmental ship Gunnar Thorson to the waters around the gas leaks, where they help ensure that civilian ships do not enter the prohibited zones. In addition, a Norwegian military helicopter is contributing with surveillance from the air.

The Swedish Coast Guard is also involved in the investigation and response to the leaks.