Norwegian police say threat against major gas plant resolved

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Norwegian police on Thursday responded to a threat made by telephone against the Nyhamna gas processing plant, one of Europe’s largest energy export facilities and later said the incident had been resolved, without giving details.

The threat came amid heightened concerns about the security of oil and gas infrastructure following suspected sabotage of Russia’s Nord Stream gas pipelines to Europe, though plant operator Gassco and offshore producers Shell and Equinor said output had not been interrupted. “It was a threat made by telephone,” Odd Joergen Nilssen, the mayor of Aukra municipality, where the plant is located.

The Norwegian military Home Guard has been guarding the facility since authorities boosted security at Norwegian oil and gas installations in the wake of the Nord Stream explosions on September 26. “The situation at Ormen Lange (plant) is cleared. There will be a press statement,” local police said on Twitter, referring to one of the gas fields that serve the plant. Norway is now Europe’s largest gas supplier, following a sharp reduction in flows from Russia.

“The gas transport from Nyhamna is running as planned,” says Gassco spokesperson. The Nyhamna plant processes natural gas from the offshore Ormen Lange field, operated by Shell and the Aasta Hansteen field, operated by Equinor.

It is a major supplier to Britain via the Langeled pipeline. In recent years, gas produced from Ormen Lange has accounted for up to 20% of Britain’s gas consumption, according to Shell. British and European gas prices spiked on reports of the incident before retreating when police said the situation was resolved. Nyhamna has an export capacity of some 84 million standard cubic metres of gas per day, according to data from Gassco.