The 5,500-mile Langeled pipeline takes crucial gas from Norway to the UK and Western intelligence believe that it could be a target for Russian sabotage over the winter months
Russia could be planning to sabotage a North Sea pipeline from Norway to the UK cutting the country off from a vital supply over the winter months, it is reported.
The 5,500-mile Langeled pipeline takes around a fifth of the natural gas that the UK uses and Western intelligence is believed to be concerned that it could be targeted by Russia.
Parts of mainland Europe have been left without vital gas supplies due to pipelines from Russia having the amount delivered reduced or entirely switched off.
With the war raging in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin has appeared to be using the supply of energy as a tool in the war with the West.
And explosions last month on the Nord Stream gas pipelines have been put down to sabotage by Sweden and Denmark as well as many other world leaders although they have not said who is responsible.
Now there is a fear that Russia could try to attack the UK’s gas supplies over the cold winter months.
“Sabotage is the next step if they want to escalate by attacking Britain’s critical energy infrastructure because we are so fragile,” said a NATO source, reported the Mail.
“And it’s no coincidence that Britain has been one of Ukraine’s biggest backers.”
With greater dependence now on Norwegian gas across Europe, it is being seen as a realistic target for sabotage.
“As a strategic target for sabotage, Norwegian gas pipelines are probably the highest value target in Europe,” said Stale Ulriksen, researcher at the Royal Norwegian Naval Academy, reported the Mail.
So far drones have been seen flying over gas infrastructure in Norwegian and several Russian nationals have been arrested.
It has led to Gassco, the Norwegian company that operates the Langeled pipeline, reportedly being put on high security alert.
Meanwhile, operator Nord Stream has sent ships to waters off the Swedish coast to check the damage to pipelines for the first time last Thursday since the leaks last month.
“After carrying out the calibration works, the specialists will be ready within 24 hours to start the survey of the damaged area that would take 3-5 days, according to current estimates,” the company said.
Swedish prosecutors and police have concluded a crime scene investigation, but the Nordic country’s navy last Wednesday said it would conduct its own survey.
The Mirror has contacted the Ministry of Defence for comment.
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