Finland says gas pipeline damage probably caused by anchor
Finland says gas pipeline damage probably caused by dragging anchor Finnish police said they found an anchor near the pipeline and are investigating if it was an accident.
It was initially suspected by authorities that the damage was deliberately caused by Russia, possibly as a means of retribution for Finland’s membership in NATO.
It has been denied by the Russian President Vladimir Putin that the accusation is true.
The police said that a broad drag mark could be seen on the seabed near where the ruptured pipeline was located, and the anchor was lying just beyond where the damage had been caused.
They added that a piece of the anchor – one of the two spikes that make up the anchor – had broken off.
On Friday, the Finnish National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) announced that they were now concentrating their investigation on the Chinese container vessel NewNew Polar Bear, which had passed over the pipeline at the time of the damage.
The NBI confirmed earlier today that the NewNew Polar Bear was indeed missing an anchor.
In an attempt to determine whether the recently-found anchor belongs to the vessel, they tried unsuccessfully to contact it.
Underwater natural gas pipeline connecting Finland and Estonia.
Earlier this month, the pipeline was shut down due to a sudden drop in pressure, and authorities said at the time that they believed that an external mechanical force had damaged the pipeline and the telecoms cable in two places as a result.
Since the Russian imports of natural gas to Finland were suspended in May of last year, as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it has been the only channel through which Finland could import natural gas. Natural gas accounts for about 5% of Finland’s energy consumption.