Suspicious drones seen near Norwegian offshore oil platforms

Norwegian have launched an investigation into several sightings of suspicious drones near oil and gas platforms on the Norwegian continental shelf. Drones have been sighted near the platforms six times in recent weeks. TotalEnergies has also reported drones on their platforms. It may be related to the recent sabotage of the North Stream gas pipelines.

Suspicious drones

Drones have been sighted several times in recent weeks near several Norwegian oil and gas platforms in the North Sea. In one case, a platform was approached to about 50 meters, reports a representative of the Norwegian energy company Equinor. At other platforms, drones were spotted within the 500-meter safety zone. The platforms in question are located a few kilometers from the Norwegian coast.

The Norwegian police have now launched an investigation into the drones.

“We have launched an investigation to clarify whether drones have been sighted, where the drones may be flying relative to the installations, what their purpose is and who is behind them,” said Amund Preede Revheim, head of the North Sea/Environmental Department of the South Seas. Norwegian Police District.

The platforms concerned currently play a major role in European energy policy to reduce dependence on Russian gas. The scenario in which the drones are used to conduct preliminary reconnaissance for further sabotage actions of European energy infrastructure is therefore also taken into account to further disrupt the European economy.

The fact that TotalEnergies also reported suspicious drones at platform Halfdan B more than 200 kilometers from the coast last week, underlines the suspicion that military drones are involved: civilian drones simply cannot fly that far from land. This would mean that the drones are deployed on behalf of a state actor.

“Time for action”

Thomas Øiseth Munkholm of Weibel Scientific, a supplier of radar systems that can detect drones, calls for action:

“Gas leaks are occurring, and drone activity is being observed at critical energy production sites. We can expect more critical infrastructures to be attacked in the future. It is time to step up security policies for energy infrastructure and take measures to prevent future incidents in .”

According to Munkholm, the systems his company provides are suitable for detecting, classifying, and tracking both military and civilian drones at great distances. Weibel Scientific has since supplied several radar systems to the Norwegian armed forces.

What do you think about these suspicious drones near oil and gas platforms? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. We are curious to hear what you think.

This article first appeared on Dronewatch and was written by Wiebe de Jager, who is also a DroneXL contributor.

Photo courtesy of Stavanger Aftenblad

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Wiebe de Jager
Wiebe de Jager

Wiebe de Jager is the founder of Dronewatch and author of several bestselling books about drone photography. Wiebe is a certified drone pilot and has a full ROC license.

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