Balticconnector’s Inspections Continue – a Preliminary Estimate of a Repair Schedule Published

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 10/11/2023, Location: Europe

Gasgrid Finland and the Estonian gas transmission system operator Elering AS noticed an unusual drop in pressure in the Balticconnector offshore gas pipeline that runs between the countries on the small hours of October 8, 2023. The pipeline was isolated shortly after the discovery by closing Balticconnector’s valves. Due to the unusual drop in pressure, it was reasonable to suspect that the cause of the incident was damage to the pipeline and a resulting leak. The gas leak caused by the verified damage in the pipeline has stopped due to the isolation of the pipeline and the closing of the valves. At the moment, gas transmission between Finland and Estonia has halted. The state of the Finnish gas system is stable, and the supply of gas is secured via Inkoo LNG floating terminal.

On Tuesday, Finnish authorities confirmed the suspected damage to Balticconnector, which caused an unusual drop in pressure observed in the early morning of Sunday 8 October. Gasgrid Finland’s previously launched offshore pipeline inspection operation continues, despite the findings, to cover other sections of the pipeline. The goal of the ongoing inspection operation is to get an accurate understanding of the condition of the entire offshore pipeline, after which planning for more detailed repair measures and their schedule can be started. Gasgrid Finland is responsible for the inspection operation, and it is carried out in cooperation with Elering. The inspection operation will be carried out in stages during this week.

Based on preliminary expert assessments, it can be assumed that the planning of the repair work, the mobilization of the necessary underwater equipment and the actual repair measures, including the inspection of the repaired pipe section and commissioning, will last at least five months. Therefore, the earliest possible commissioning date of the Balticconnector -pipeline would be at the beginning of April 2024.

The state of Finland’s gas system is stable and the supply of gas is secured

The situation of the Finnish gas system is stable, and the supply of gas from the LNG terminal in Inkoo has been secured. The terminal has the capacity and the ability to deliver the gas Finland needs, including in the coming winter, even though gas consumption is typically higher in winter seasons. Market players have been instructed to ensure the gas supply they need by ordering it to Inko or the Hamina LNG terminal, so that the continuity of the gas supply is secured in the coming winter season.


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