Fire Engulfs Russian Novatek Gas Terminal

Written by Henrik Rothen

Jan.21 - 2024 10:48 AM CET

Fire Engulfs Russian Novatek Gas Terminal in Ust-Luga Port.

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A terminal belonging to Novatek, the country's largest independent natural gas producer, was engulfed in flames. The event was confirmed by the regional governor Alexander Drozdenko through a Telegram announcement according to Kyiv Independent.

Despite the severity of the fire, Drozdenko reported no casualties. However, contrasting reports from other Russian media indicated the evacuation of approximately 150 people from the site.

Authorities have implemented a high-alert regime in the Kingiseppsky district in response to the emergency. The exact cause of the blaze remains unknown as of now.

This incident comes amidst the backdrop of increasing pressure on Russian energy companies. Novatek, notably prominent in the production of liquified natural gas (LNG), faced significant challenges following the U.S. sanctions against one of its major ventures, the Arctic LNG-2 project. The company holds a 60% share in this project.

Last month, as per Reuters, Novatek had to issue force majeure notices to several of its clients. This legal measure, usually invoked during uncontrollable circumstances, came in the wake of U.S. sanctions targeting Russian LNG in November 2023, severely impacting Novatek's operational capabilities.

This fire at the Ust-Luga terminal is not an isolated incident in the recent spate of fires affecting Russian infrastructure. Earlier in the month, a major fire also broke out at a warehouse in St. Petersburg, owned by Wildberries, one of Russia's largest online stores. This particular blaze affected a substantial area, estimated to be around 70,000 square meters.

The confluence of these events raises questions about the safety measures and operational resilience of Russian industrial and commercial facilities, particularly in the energy sector, which is currently under international scrutiny and pressure.

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