Norway | Police install drone sensors on offshore oil and gas platforms
Defence Redefined
Published on 05/10/2022 at 16:25

Norway’s police have installed drone detection systems on offshore oil and gas platforms to investigate recent security breaches, VG newspaper reported yesterday, as part of a wider security ramp-up following last week’s damage to the Nord Stream gas pipelines.

Oil companies have seen a sharp increase in unidentified drones in recent weeks, and Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) warned on November 26 of risks of accidents or even deliberate attacks.

Benedicte Bjørnland, head of the Norwegian police directorate, told VG that the sensors were developed to identify any illegal drones and as a deterrent to anyone seeking to use them in the first place.

The police department refused to say how many of the more than 90 Norwegian oil and gas fields have been equipped with drone detection systems.

Tone Wangen, head of emergency preparedness at the police department, told Reuters in an email statement that they don’t want to elaborate because they don’t want to reveal the systems’ capabilities to potential adversaries.

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Norway, Europe’s biggest gas supplier, and a major global oil producer, last week deployed its navy, air force, and soldiers to patrol offshore oil fields and onshore terminals in response to the Nord Stream leaks, which some countries spoke of sabotage.

Oslo announced on Friday that it would also receive help from Britain, Germany, and France for offshore patrols.

Russia’s Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines ruptured on September 26, causing gas to leak into the Baltic Sea off the coast of Denmark and Sweden. Seismologists recorded explosions in the area and police in several countries launched investigations.

Norway’s Prime Minister visited an offshore platform on Saturday in an attempt to assuage workers’ concerns about drones and leaks in Nord Stream, although the government has said it is not aware of any specific threats.

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