The repair of the damaged undersea gas pipeline connecting Finland and Estonia is expected to take a minimum of five months, with gas supply restoration anticipated at the earliest in April, as conveyed by the authorities responsible for the gas systems in both countries.
On a recent Sunday, the operators noticed an unusual drop in pressure within the Baltic Connector gas pipeline located in the Baltic Sea. Subsequently, the pipeline was shut down, and a thorough investigation was initiated. Finnish President Sauli Niinistö had earlier suggested that the pipeline’s malfunction may have been caused by external factors.
This incident has caused gas prices in Europe to surge this week, prompting concerns about the vulnerability of underwater infrastructure. The situation bears resemblance to the explosions that occurred in the Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea last year, which led to increased scrutiny of European energy infrastructure. With the onset of winter, Europe is more susceptible to disruptions in gas supply.
It’s worth noting that Finland has a relatively low dependency on natural gas, constituting around 5 percent of the nation’s total energy consumption. However, the damaged gas pipeline had been the sole means for Finland to import gas since the cessation of gas supplies by the Russian state-owned company Gazprom last year.