Norwegian police say threat against major gas plant resolved

OSLO, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Norwegian police on Thursday responded to a threat made by telephone against the Nyhamna gas processing plant, one of Europe's largest energy export facilities, and later said the incident had been resolved.

The threat came amid heightened concerns about the security of oil and gas infrastructure following suspected sabotage of Russia's Nord Stream gas pipelines to Europe, though plant operator Gassco and offshore producers Shell (SHEL.L) and Equinor (EQNR.OL) said output had not been interrupted.

"The situation has been resolved," police operations leader Per Aage Ferstad said in a statement, adding police did not believe the incident had posed a real danger to the plant.

A suspect had been identified and was known to have made similar threats in the past, police said.

The Norwegian military Home Guard has been guarding the facility since authorities boosted security at Norwegian oil and gas installations in the wake of the Nord Stream explosions on Sept. 26.

Norway is now Europe's largest gas supplier, following a sharp reduction in flows from Russia.

"The gas transport from Nyhamna is running as planned," said a Gassco spokesperson.

The Nyhamna plant processes natural gas from the offshore Ormen Lange field, operated by Shell, and the Aasta Hansteen field, operated by Equinor. It is a major supplier to Britain via the Langeled pipeline.

In recent years, gas produced from Ormen Lange has accounted for up to 20% of Britain's gas consumption, according to Shell.

British and European gas prices spiked on reports of the incident before retreating when police said the situation was resolved.

Nyhamna has an export capacity of some 84 million standard cubic metres of gas per day, according to data from Gassco.

Reporting by Gwladys Fouche and Nora Buli, additional reporting by Stine Jacobsen; Editing by Edmund Klamann and Mark Potter

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Thomson Reuters

Oversees news coverage from Norway for Reuters and loves flying to Svalbard in the Arctic, oil platforms in the North Sea, and guessing who is going to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Born in France and with Reuters since 2010, she has worked for The Guardian, Agence France-Presse and Al Jazeera English, among others, and speaks four languages.