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Fire hits terminal of Russia's largest natural gas producer in the Baltic Sea

A fire ripped through a terminal of Russia's largest liquefied natural gas producer Novatek in the Baltic Sea, a regional official said on Sunday (21), amid reports of drone sightings in the area.

“There were no casualties as a result of the fire at the terminal in the port of Ust-Luga. Personnel were evacuated,” Leningrad Regional Governor Alexander Drozdenko said on the Telegram messaging app.

Russian news channel Shot reported on the same app that residents heard a drone followed by several explosions.

St. Petersburg-based media outlet Fontanka said at least two drones were spotted in the sky flying toward St. Petersburg before reports of the terminal fire.

Three other major international oil tankers were close to the fire, although there were no reports of damage to their structures, Fontanka said.

Baza, a Russian media outlet known for its contacts in security services, posted images on Telegram of large flames rising into the sky over what appeared to be an industrial complex.

Drozdenko said a “high alert regime” had been introduced in the area and that authorities had gathered for an emergency meeting.

Reuters was unable to independently verify the reports. There was no immediate comment from Ukraine. Novatek did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Ust-Luga complex, launched in 2013, processes stable gas condensate, jet fuel, fuel oil and gas oil, according to Novatek's website.

The port allows the shipment of processed products to international markets.

Novatek processed 3.4 million tonnes of stable gas condensate at the complex in the first half of 2023, according to the most recent data available, an increase of 0.6% over the same period last year.

Russia and Ukraine have targeted energy infrastructure in attacks designed to disrupt supply lines and logistics.

On Friday (19), a drone attack hit an oil depot in Russia's western Bryansk region, on the border with Ukraine, for which Moscow blamed Kiev.

The incident came a day after an attack on a Russian oil terminal in the Baltic Sea, which Russian authorities said was unsuccessful.

Source: CNN Brasil

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