Suspected Leak of the Balticconnector Gas Pipeline between Finland & Estonia

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 10/8/2023, Location: Europe

Gasgrid Finland and Estonian gas transmission system operator Elering AS observed an unusual drop in pressure in the Balticconnector offshore gas pipeline between the countries in the small hours of October 8, 2023. Based on the abnormal pressure drop, a leak in the pipe was suspected, and the decision to isolate the pipe section could be made based on the observation. Balticconnector’s valves were quickly closed and thus the supposed leak was stopped.

The state of Finland’s gas system is stable and the supply of gas secured
The situation in the Finnish gas market has remained stable, and the supply of gas has been secured through the Inkoo LNG floating terminal. The terminal has the capacity and the ability to deliver the gas Finland needs in the coming winter as well, even though gas consumption is typically higher in winter seasons. However, it is important that market participants order gas for use at the terminal, so that the continuity of gas supply is secured in the coming winter season. Floating LNG Terminal Finland Oy, Gasgrid Finland’s subsidiary responsible for the terminal, has published information on winter capacity reservations earlier in August. Part of the terminal’s winter capacity is still available.

Preparations are underway to find out the cause and location of the possible leak
Gasgrid Finland and Elering are preparing an operation to investigate the cause of the suspected leak and locate the possible leak point. A leak point can be located in different technical methods, for example by echo sounding and videoing. Gas transmission pipeline inspection and repair operations require careful planning and compliance with permit processes. The necessary preliminary measures have been initiated, and it is believed that actual inspection measures can be carried out soon. It will most likely take at least a few days to get to inspecting the pipe itself.

If it appears that the unusual pressure drop observed in the morning of October 8 in the Balticconnector pipeline is due to a leak caused damage to the pipe, repair work may take at least several months depending on nature of the damage.

Gasgrid Finland has assessed the extent of gas released in the suspected leak, and will report the results to environmental authorities in accordance with the Environmental Protection Act after the results are confirmed.

Gasgrid Finland will inform about the situation’s development on its website www.gasgrid.fi as soon as more information is available.


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