OSLO ($1=10.89 Norwegian Krones) — Norway takes security action on the Troll A platform in the North Sea. The Ministry of Defense of the Scandinavian country announced this action through its Twitter account. The patrol vessel dispatched is the KV Sortland.
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Troll A is a gravity platform for natural gas extraction located off the west coast of Norway. It is considered one of the most complex engineering structures in the history of mankind. It is currently managed by the Equinor company. Troll A is part of the Troll site. In addition to Troll A, Norway has the Troll B and Troll C platforms. The three together serve the gas field on the Norwegian continental shelf and extract 40% of the total gas reserves on the shelf.
Norway took protective measures against Troll A because of exploded gas pipelines at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. These are pipes that are part of the gas delivery structure along the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines. In reality, these are the main gas pipelines for the delivery of Russian gas to Europe.
“Following what happened in the Baltic Sea, the Norwegian Armed Forces are now present and more visible in the areas around our oil and gas installations. The picture shows the coast guard vessel KV Sortand patrolling in front of Troll A,” said the Norwegian Ministry of Defense [Forsvarsdepartement].
Nord Stream sabotage
As expected, Europe and the US accuse Russia of sabotaging the gas pipelines. Russia denies and blames the other side. Different opinions appeared, even from Western countries, which “thank you US” for stopping the supply of Russian gas to Europe.
The most popular version of how exactly the sabotage took place is by placing charges on the seabed, weeks before they were detonated. Russian research vessels are said to have transported a military group of submariners that placed the charges on the pipes. There is no information from the Norwegian Ministry of Defense whether Norwegian submariners are checking the condition of the underwater part of the “four legs” of the Troll A platform, as well as whether they are checking the gas supply pipes.
About KV Sortland
KV Sortland is a Norwegian patrol vessel built in 2010. It is a Barentshav-class offshore patrol vessel. Norway has a total of three patrol vessels of this class. The other two are W340 Barentshav and W341 Bergen.
KV Sortland is powered by a combined gas and diesel engines. The maximum cruising speed when both types of engines are used is 20 knots [37 km/h]. The main armament of the Norwegian patrol ship is the Bofors 40 mm anti-aircraft gun.
F-35s involved too
Shortly after the patrol ship mision was announced, Norway’s defense minister confirmed that F-35s were patrolling Swedish and Danish waters to monitor the gas leak. “We take the gas leaks in Swedish and Danish waters very seriously and have strengthened our preparedness. The Danish Armed Forces has a good overview of the activity in our immediate areas”, says Bjørn Arild Gram
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