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Baltic Sea News

22 Nov 2023

Finland-Estonia Gas Pipeline System to Get Bigger Capacity after Repair

Credit: Approximate location of Balticconnector between Finland and Estonia. - Credit: Wikimedia Maps

The Balticconnector gas pipeline between Finland and Estonia, which was damaged last month, will get a bigger northbound transmission capacity next year following repairs, Finnish operator Gasgrid said in a statement on Wednesday.The increase will come from an enhancement of the Latvia-Lithuania interconnection, which allows for higher gas volumes to be transported around the Finnish-Baltic region, it added.The pipeline will in the future get a base capacity of 70.5 gigawatt hours of gas per day in the direction from Estonia to Finland…

10 Nov 2023

Estonia Names Chinese Ship as Suspect in Telecoms Cables Damage

Chinese ship NewNew Polar Bear (previously known as Baltic Fulmar) in 2020. (Photo: Alf van Beem)

Estonia's prosecutor general said on Friday that the Hong Kong-registered NewNew Polar Bear container vessel was the primary suspect in an investigation of damage to two subsea telecoms cables linking Estonia to Finland and Sweden. "We prepared a legal assistance request to China so that the local law enforcement authorities would perform the procedural operations, primarily those connected to the vessel and its crew," State Prosecutor Triinu Olev said in a statement. The two cables were damaged on Oct 7-8.

06 Nov 2023

Finland Receives LNG Cargo, Books More for the Winter

Credit: Wojciech Wrzesień/AdobeStock

A tanker carrying liquefied natural gas (LNG) docked at Finland's Inkoo terminal on Sunday and has begun unloading, energy company Gasum said on Monday, the second cargo to arrive since the damage last month to a Finnish-Estonian pipeline.The Arctic Princess, carrying natural gas from the Arctic Hammerfest LNG plant, had been expected to arrive at Inkoo during the weekend, shipping data showed on Friday.The delivery amounted to about 400 gigawatt hours of energy, Gasum said."In addition to this delivery, Gasum has reserved three more slots at the Inkoo FSRU for the upcoming winter season.

03 Nov 2023

Second Gas Cargo Heads to Finland's LNG Terminal After Pipeline Rupture

Credit: Wojciech Wrzesień/AdobeStock

A tanker carrying Norwegian liquefied natural gas (LNG) is set to arrive at Finland's Inkoo terminal overnight, vessel tracking data showed on Friday, making it the second cargo since the Oct. 8 outage of a Finnish-Estonian gas pipeline.The Arctic Princess, carrying natural gas from the Arctic Hammerfest LNG plant, signaled its arrival at Inkoo on Friday at 2300 GMT, LSEG shipping data showed, corresponding to Saturday morning at 0100 EET in local time.The tanker loaded in Norway on Sept. 17 but sat off the Danish coast since Sept.

31 Oct 2023

China Cooperating in Balticconnector Investigation, Finland Says

Approximate location of Balticconnector between Finland and Estonia. - Credit: Wikimedia Maps

Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo on Tuesday that China was cooperating in Finland's investigation of the Hong Kong-flagged NewNew Polar Bear vessel's role in the Oct. 8 damage to the Balticconnector pipeline.Finnish police leading the criminal investigation have named the NewNew Polar Bear container carrier as the prime suspect in damaging the gas pipeline early on Oct. 8, saying it was too early to tell if this was an accident or a deliberate act.A large anchor, believed to belong to the NewNew Polar Bear…

27 Oct 2023

Three Baltic Pipe and Cable Incidents "are related", Estonia Says

The NewNew Polar Bear ship photographed as Baltic Fulmar outside the Port of Rotterdam in 2020 - Public Domain Photo

The three incidents that resulted in damage to a gas pipeline and two telecom cables between Estonia, Finland and Sweden "are related", Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said.Finnish police leading the pipeline investigation have named the Hong Kong-flagged container carrier NewNew Polar Bear as the prime suspect in damaging the Balticconnector Finland-Estonia gas pipeline early on Oct. 8.A large anchor was found near the pipeline, and the investigators believe the pipe was…

25 Oct 2023

China Willing to Provide Necessary Information on Baltic Sea Pipeline Probe

China Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning’s Regular Press Conference on October 24, 2023 - Credit: China Foreign Ministry

China is willing to provide necessary information in accordance with international law regarding an investigation on damage to a Baltic Sea gas pipeline, the foreign ministry said on Wednesday at a regular press briefing.The damage earlier this month is believed to have been caused by a ship dragging a large anchor along the seabed, but it was too early to tell if this was an accident or a deliberate act, Finnish police said on Tuesday.

23 Oct 2023

Kremlin, Asked about Damaged Baltic Pipeline, Says Threats to Russia 'Unacceptable'

Dmitry Peskov - Credit: Kremlin via Wikimedia Commons - CC BY 3.0 DEED

The Kremlin said on Monday that any threats made against Russia were "unacceptable" after Latvia's president said NATO should shut the Baltic Sea to shipping if Moscow were found responsible for damage to a gas pipeline between Finland and Estonia.Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also repeated Moscow's denial of any involvement in the damage inflicted on the Balticconnectorpipeline and a telecoms cableon Oct. 8.Finnish investigators have said the damage may have been an act of sabotage…

23 Oct 2023

China Calls for 'Fair' Gas Pipeline Damage Probe from Finland

Create: alexyz3d/AdobeStock

China's foreign ministry on Monday called for an "objective, fair and professional" investigation into damage to the Balticconnector gas pipeline, adding that a Chinese vessel was sailing "normally" in the relevant waters.China and Finland have started communication over the matter, and China hopes that relevant parties can find out the truth as soon as possible, ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told a regular press briefing.An investigation into the pipeline damage is currently focused on the role of the Chinese NewNew Polar Bear container vessel, Finland's National Bureau of Investigation (NBI

20 Oct 2023

Finland Contacts China, Russia Regarding Baltic Sea Pipeline Probe

Finland's foreign ministry said on Friday it had contacted China and Russia via diplomatic channels regarding the investigation of damage to a pipeline and a telecoms cable in the Baltic Sea.Early on Oct. 8, a gas pipeline and a telecoms cable connecting Finland and Estonia were broken, in what Finnish investigators say may have been deliberate sabotage. The Finnish foreign ministry in a statement to Reuters on Friday said it had contacted China to seek help to get in touch with the NewNew Polar Bear vessel, a ship named as a subject of investigation by Finnish police.Regarding Russia, Finland contacted the Russian foreign ministry, "stating the seriousness of the matter"…

20 Jul 2023

Ex-McDonald's in Russia Feeds Waste Cooking Oil to Fuel Gazprom Neft's Vessels

©Вера Тихонова/AdobeStock

Russia's successor to McDonald's has teamed up with energy company Gazprom Neft to fuel marine vessels with biofuel produced using waste cooking oil an effort to lower their carbon footprints, the companies said on Thursday.Russia has said it was still committed to its climate targets despite the deepest political rift with the West in decades. Biofuels are widely considered to be less harmful in terms of emissions than conventional fuels.Gazprom Neft's bunkering business subsidiary…

21 Jun 2023

Viking Line Offers Passengers Biogas Deal

Source: Viking Line

Viking Line has started to offer passengers on its Turku-Åland-Stockholm route the option of purchasing renewable biofuel in proportion to the amount of fuel used for their journey.Starting June 21, Viking Line’s passengers on the Turku-Åland-Stockholm route can purchase biogas in proportion to the amount of fuel used for their journey. On a cruise between Turku and Stockholm, the additional price is less than 5 euros. At that price, passengers reduce their carbon footprint by up to 90% compared to a trip where LNG is used.European biogas…

23 May 2023

Germany Cannot be Relaxed about Baltic LNG Capacity, Senior Official Says

Illustration only - Credit: Karel/AdobeStock

Germany cannot be relaxed about the need for liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals in the Baltic Sea, a high-ranking economy ministry official said on Monday, a week after plans emerged to scale down the region's Mukran project after local resistance. "We should not be relaxed about supply security in the next winter," said Stefan Wenzel, a parliamentary state secretary in the ministry led by Robert Habeck of the Green Party. "We cannot afford to be unprotected and we also have…

18 Oct 2022

50-meter Section Missing from Damaged Nord Stream Pipeline

Nord Stream gas leak photographed by the Swedish Coast Guard on September 27

Damage to the Nord Stream gas pipeline from Russia to Europe was caused by powerful explosions, Danish police said on Tuesday, echoing earlier findings into leaks that erupted in the network under the Baltic Sea and that have been blamed on sabotage.In what a Swedish newspaper described as the first publicly released footage of damage to the system, film from a private drone appeared to show a gaping rupture in one pipe. Expressen reported a 50-meter section missing from one area of pipeline.Dwindling flows of gas from Russia…

11 Oct 2022

Gazprom: NATO Mine Destroyer Device was Found at Nord Stream 1 in 2015

For illustration - A SeaFox unit - Credit: Open Government Licence version 1.0 (OGL v1.0) via Wikimedia Commons

A spokesperson for Russian energy giant Gazprom said on Monday that a mine destroyer discovered at the Nord Stream 1 offshore gas pipeline in 2015 belonged to NATO. Nord Stream reported on that date in 2015 that a "munitions object" had been cleared by the Swedish armed forces, without giving more detail on the object. Gazprom spokesperson Sergei Kupriyanov told Russian state television on Monday that a NATO device, called a SeaFox, was retrieved from a depth of around 40 metres (125 feet) and made safe.

06 Oct 2022

'Unthinkable' That Russia Will be Excluded from Nord Stream Probe, Foreign Ministry Says

The gas leak at Nord Stream 2 last week seen from the Danish F-16 interceptor on Bornholm. Photo: Danish Defence

Russia's foreign ministry said on Thursday it was "unthinkable" that an investigation into ruptures on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines would proceed without Russia's participation.Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the West was purposefully creating obstacles to the investigation and said the exclusion of Russia and Gazprom from the probe showed it had something to hide.President Vladimir Putin last week directly accused the United States and its allies of carrying out the attack on the pipelines, which has threatened to put them permanently out of use.

03 Oct 2022

Under the Bridge: Heerema's Crane Vessel Thialf Enters Baltic Sea (PHOTOS)

Credit: Heerema Marine Contractors

Dutch offshore installation firm Heerema Marine Contractors said Monday its semi-submersible crane vessel had crossed the Storebaelt Bridge, known as the ‘gate to the Baltic Sea.'"This crossing is the first time a Heerema crane vessel has accessed the region and is the result of innovative crane alterations to enable passage below the bridge. While ballasted down to Thialf's maximum draught the total air draught was just under 65 m with the A-frames down," the company said.Credit: Heerema Marine ContractorsWhen Thialf was moored in the Port of Rotterdam over the winter of 2021-2022…

13 Dec 2021

Two Crew Members Missing after Danish and British Vessels Collide in Icy Baltic

Credit: Mogens Erik Brockhusen

Two Danish crew members of a capsized barge were missing in the freezing Baltic Sea on Monday after an overnight collision with a British vessel in a busy maritime route off Sweden.With the pair unlikely to survive long in water temperatures around 4 Celsius, rescue boats and a helicopter hunted for hours. There was also hope they might still be inside an air pocket within the hull of the overturned Karin Hoj.The 55-meter Danish barge and 90-meter Scot Carrier were sailing in the same direction off the island of Bornholm when they crashed in fog and darkness at 3.30 a.m.

24 May 2021

Nord Stream 2 Project: Russian Vessel Fortuna Starts Laying Pipes

Russian vessel Fortuna has started laying pipes for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in German waters, the gas project said on Sunday, citing Germany's Waterway and Shipping Authority.Nord Stream 2, which runs on the bed of the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany, bypassing Ukraine, has faced criticism from the United States, which claims it will increase European reliance on Russian gas.Fortuna and other vessels taking part in the project have been added to a U.S. sanctions list."All works are performed in accordance with the available permits," Nord Stream 2 said in an emailed comment.Fortuna will be working in German waters from May 22 to June 30…

05 Mar 2021

Another Vessel Joining Nord Stream 2 Pipeline Construction

Akademik Cherskiy vessel / Image - Sergei Skriabin - AdobeStock

The consortium behind the Nord Stream 2 undersea gas pipeline said on Thursday a second Russian pipe-laying vessel is undergoing sea trials ahead of joining the project, as it presses on with construction despite growing political pressure.The vessel, the Akademik Cherskiy, left the German port of Wismar on Thursday with the intention of later joining the project in Danish waters, the consortium told Reuters.The United States has criticized the plan to build the pipeline from Russia to Germany…

04 Dec 2020

Divers Find Nazi Enigma Device while Searching for Fishing Nets in Baltic Sea

Illustration - Enigma / Credit; BOCA/AdobeStock

German divers searching the Baltic Sea for discarded fishing nets have stumbled upon a rare Enigma cipher machine used by the Nazi military during World War Two which they believe was thrown overboard from a scuttled submarine.Thinking they had discovered a typewriter entangled in a net on the seabed of Gelting Bay, underwater archaeologist Florian Huber quickly realized the historical significance of the find.“I’ve made many exciting and strange discoveries in the past 20 years.

29 Jul 2021

Nord Stream 2 Pipeline 99% Complete

 Akademik Cherskiy vessel - Credit:Elena Krivorotova/AdobeStock

The much-politicized Nord Stream 2 undersea gas pipeline from Russia to Germany is 99% complete, the pipeline operator said on Wednesday, after the pipelay vessel Akademik Cherskiy finished its initially planned workload.The $11 billion Nord Stream 2, designed to bypass Russia's political foe Ukraine and double the capacity of the existing Nord Stream pipeline to 110 billion cubic meters per year, has been a focal point of tensions between Moscow and Washington.The construction of the pipeline has been hampered by sanctions introduced by the United States at the end of 2019…

25 Feb 2021

Report: Baker Hughes, 17 Other Firms Quit Nord Stream 2 Pipeline Project to Avoid Sanctions

Baker Hughes Co and AXA Group and 16 other companies recently quit work on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline and will not be sanctioned, according to a document the Biden administration sent to Congress last week which was seen by Reuters.Russian energy company Gazprom and its western partners are racing to build the pipeline to take Russian gas to Germany under the Baltic Sea, and hope to finish it this year. President Joe Biden believes the pipeline is a “bad deal” for Europe.Many U.S. lawmakers and officials say the pipeline would increase Russia’s political and economic leverage over Europe. The $11 billion pipeline, which would double the capacity of its existing duct, would bypass Ukraine through which Russia has sent gas to Europe for decades.

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