Both the Norwegian Navy and the Norwegian Air Force now spend significant resources on presence and patrol activities at oil and gas facilities on the Norwegian continental shelf.
In today’s tense security policy situation, Norway occupies a special position as the largest supplier of natural gas to Europe. Therefore, we have a special responsibility to protect our ability to maintain the integrity of production and delivery, says Defense Minister Björn Arild Gram.
Production on the Norwegian continental shelf is important for energy production in large parts of Europe. At the same time, the composition of oil and gas is very weak.
After gas pipelines at Nord Stream 1 and 2 at Bornholm in the Baltic Sea were exposed to what may be sabotage, preparation against the Norwegian continental shelf has also been intensified.
Among other things, many UAV observations were made in these areas. These are investigated by the police and the PST.
Norway has now requested support from other countries to patrol and monitor Norwegian oil and gas facilities, and there has been no incomplete response.
Many allies were quick to express their willingness to support Norway by increasing their presence in the North Sea, says Gram.
Unity and solidarity
Cooperation has already come a long way.
Close coordination is underway between the Norwegian Armed Forces Operations Headquarters (FOH) and NATO Naval Headquarters (MARCOM) in Great Britain to ensure the best possible use of allied naval forces in the North Sea to deter Russia. At the same time, Gram says, we are proclaiming the unity and solidarity of the Allies.
Today Gram is visiting Andoya, where Germany is currently practicing sniping from military ships.
Three German frigates and several support ships are participating in the exercise. In addition, some Norwegian troops are involved.
Germany is one of the countries that will now help with the Norwegian continental shelf.
– Germany has offered that the naval force now participating in the exercises can help support Norway by conducting patrols near Norwegian facilities, Gram says.
Germany also contributes more.
Germany has also offered Norway to cruise by sea patrol planes over oil and gas facilities off the Norwegian coast, says Gram.
The Navy was tasked with coordinating this support with the Germans.
– I am very happy that Germany and other allies are standing by to protect our ability to maintain the integrity of production and delivery.
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