Gas transportation trough the Nord Stream Line 2 has been stopped after “a piece of munitions” was discovered near the pipeline.
According to the operator of the pipeline carrying Russian gas to Europe trough the Baltic Sea, the object was discovered close proximity to the Nord Stream Line 2 on 6.11.2015, during a routine survey operations as part of annual integrity assessment activities of the Nord Stream Offshore Pipeline System.
The location of the object is in the Swedish Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) approximately 120 km away from the island of Gotland.
“The relevant Swedish Authorities (Swedish Coast Guard, Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, Swedish Maritime Administration) were informed. The authorities have established a three nautical miles safety zone to minimize any risks, until the object is analyzed and removed. Nord Stream has stopped gas transportation through Line 2 for safety reasons,” Nord Stream AG said in a statement.
While the company doesn’t provide more info on the nature of the object discovered, Svenska Dagbladet news website claims that the mysterious object is an expendable subsea drone used to destroy underwater mines by detonating a large caliber charge and destroying both itself and the mine in the process.
Following the Swedish Media reports that the ROV in question might be a SeaFox unit, Offshore Energy Today contacted Atlas Elektronik, a company building such drones, asking more about the case.
In an e-mailed response, the Atlas Elektronik spokesperson said: “We also heard from other sources about the finding. If the ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) really turns out to be a SeaFox mine disposal vehicle then yes, Atlas Elektronik is the producer of such vehicles. But we do not operate them. These ROV are only operated by several navies around the world. Thus, we cannot comment on how this ROV might have gotten there.”
The article has been updated to include the Atlas Elektronik statement
Offshore Energy Today Staff