Nord Stream, Geopolitical Tensions, and the Need for Power to Protect Remote Offshore Assets

Underwater pipeline

The Nord Stream pipeline, which delivers gas from Russia to Germany via a subsea route through the Baltic Sea, was the victim of apparent sabotage in late September. Multiple leaks, created by what experts believe were underwater explosive devices, led to what the United Nations said is likely the largest single release of methane ever recorded. In addition to the climate and environmental impacts, which are substantial, the fact that critical infrastructure assets are now targets of attack has created a new, more fraught reality for owners. The stakes of geopolitical conflicts have risen in a way the world hasn’t experienced in decades. 

Days after the leaks were discovered, the United States, Russian, and European governments continued to point fingers in different directions as to who was responsible. Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine loomed in the background, an event that had already led to rising tensions between Russia and the West as well as skyrocketing natural gas prices in Europe. 

Unfortunately, geopolitical tensions aren’t only on the rise in Europe. For example, China continues a program to expand its influence and control of seas across the Pacific and Indian oceans, not to mention renewed friction in its long-simmering conflict with Taiwan. These tensions present challenges to the ocean economy and add risk to offshore operations and assets.  

However, the ocean economy is immensely valuable and critical to global commerce. Businesses and governments have no choice but to find ways to protect their assets. 

Infrastructure security is essential in a world in which bad actors are not only willing but capable of launching an attack. Whether the offshore asset is a pipeline, an oil and gas field, a fiber optic cable, or even a coastal industrial or defense facility, organizations of all kinds need solutions now more than ever to provide inspection, monitoring, intrusion detection, surveillance, and reporting. Delivering that level of infrastructure security requires 24/7 power and communications. Unfortunately, the ocean today is a power desert.  

C-Power’s SeaRAY autonomous offshore power system (AOPS) generates power from reliable ocean waves and enables real-time, two-way data and communications. That means a SeaRAY or array of SeaRAYs can be co-located with critical offshore assets, delivering continuous power to the autonomous, digital, resident technologies needed to provide 24/7 security. Just as important, the ability to send and receive data in real time allows those technologies to report threats as they emerge and even receive instructions to perform an operation to avert the threat.  

The SeaRAY’s game-changing potential for offshore and coastal infrastructure security is a big reason why the technology was selected for the U.S. Navy’s Coastal Trident port and maritime security program. It also led to C-Power receiving a 2022 TechConnect Defense Innovation Award in September.  

C-Power’s upcoming demonstration of a 20-kW SeaRAY AOPS at the U.S. Navy’s Wave Energy Test Site, which is supported by a U.S. Department of Energy grant and the U.S. Navy, has multiple opportunities available for organizations to partner with us on co-demonstrations, particularly in the field of infrastructure monitoring. 

Contact C-Power to discuss how our systems can become a critical part of your operations’ infrastructure security strategy. 

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