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Video: Fire Breaks Out at Russian LNG Terminal

Loading arms at Novatek's Ust-Luga LNG terminal (Novatek file image)
Loading arms at Novatek's Ust-Luga LNG terminal (Novatek file image)

Published Jan 21, 2024 5:44 PM by The Maritime Executive

[Updated] The governor of Russia's Leningrad region has reported a fire at an LNG export terminal on the Baltic Sea. The facility, operated by Russian natural gas firm Novatek, supplies the European market. 

In a message on the Telegram app, Gov. Alexander Drozdenko reported that the fire caused no injuries, and that all personnel were safely evacuated. 

Some Russian reports have pointed to the possibility of a drone strike. Fontanka, a news outlet in St. Petersburg, said that two drones had been spotted flying towards the terminal. Another outlet, Shot, also reported that residents had sighted at least two drones. 

Ukrainian officials have quietly told Western media that the fire was caused by a Ukrainian drone strike; however, Kyiv has not officially claimed responsibility. Novatek, the terminal's operator, has said only that it was caused by an "external influence."

“A successful attack on such a terminal not only inflicts economic losses on the enemy, depriving the occupiers of the opportunity to earn money for waging war in Ukraine, but also significantly complicates the logistics of fuel for the Russian military," a Ukrainian security service source told outlet NV. 

Ust-Luga is more than 500 miles from the Ukrainian border, on the opposite side of Belarus. The Russian military reported shooting down multiple drones in the Smolensk region, which would be on a straight-line flight path from Ukrainian territory to Ust-Luga.