Gas prices soar after reports pipeline leak is ‘not an accident’

UK gas prices soared on Tuesday afternoon after Swedish and Finnish media reported that Finland’s government is set to say that damage to an underwater gas pipeline was not accidental.

The pipeline, which started to leak over the weekend, runs between Finland and Estonia, across the bay of Finland.

It comes into land around 40-50 kilometres (25-31 miles) to the west of the two countries’ capitals, Helsinki and Tallinn.

But on Tuesday, authorities in Finland called the media to a press conference, Swedish Radio, Finnish newspaper Iltalehti and state broadcaster Yle all reported.

Yle said that a press conference, originally scheduled for 2pm local time, has been delayed until 6pm local time (4pm BST).

Following the reports, UK gas prices jumped 12.7% to 123.2p per therm, reaching the highest level for around two weeks.

Citing sources in the Finnish government, Swedish Radio said that the gas pipeline was not damaged naturally.

Researchers in Estonia are also reported not to have noticed any seismological activity, which could indicate an explosion.

On Sunday morning the Balticconnector pipeline in the Gulf of Finland, which is shared by the two countries and Russia, was taken out of service due to a suspected leak.

The operators of the pipeline said that they had noticed an unusual drop in pressure at around 2am local time.

They have not yet said what they think might have caused the leak. But the companies warned that if they find a leak it could take months to repair the damage.

It comes a little over a year after explosions hit the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in the Baltic, which transported gas from Russia to Germany.

The Balticonnector pipeline is used to send gas between Estonia and Finland, depending on which country is most in need at any point.

Both countries said that their energy security was not under threat due to the potential leak. The pipeline opened in 2020.