PST investigated drone observations in Norway. The VG survey showed that drones have been reported at at least ten different oil and gas installations.
According to PST, the oil and gas, defense and environments that work with biotechnology will be particularly at risk.
Wednesday morning the airport was in Bergen closed several hours After what police believe is at least one drone. A few hours later, it became known that the police in Finnmark had arrested 47-year-old Russian Andrei Yakunin for flying a drone in Svalbard. he is Prison has resumed.
It’s the latest in a long line of possible drone sightings in recent times.
VG identified messages about sightings of drones known in the media and reported by police, from September 17 to October 19.
The maps show that drone observations have been reported at least ten Norwegian oil and gas installations since mid-September.
The well-known messages about drone sightings have occurred here:
silent about the number
Neither Equinor nor the Petroleum Safety Authority would like to comment on individual observations, or the number of observations made in total. They point to the police.
Nor will the police confirm or deny individual observations or go into detail about procedures for the investigation. But Division Commander Amund Brady Refheim at the North Sea and Environment Division in the Sur-West Police District, responds in an email:
Over the course of several months, the police received a large number of reports of observations of possible drones around oil and gas installations on the Norwegian continental shelf.
However, the police stated that more than 70 interviews were conducted as part of the investigation.
Several investigations were conducted for some reports of drone sightings.
Air traffic stopped
Several possible observations have also been made at airports.
In addition to Bergen Airport, Flesland Airport and Førde Airport, Bringeland on Wednesday morning, observations were made on Sunday at Haugesund Airport, Karmøy and Stavanger Airport in Sola.
The Kårstø ground operations terminal, which exports dry gas to Germany via pipelines, is located between Rogaland’s two airports.
The Mungstad gas-fired power plant is located north of Bergen and a little south of Forde. At the end of September, the police moved in after observing a drone in the vicinity.
It is prohibited to fly drones more than five kilometers from the airport. In addition, Russians are prohibited from flying drones in Norway.
Several Russians have been arrested for either using drones or taking pictures of something subject to a photography ban.
Could it be Russia
Who would be interested in flying drones over Norwegian oil and gas fields?
– It could be a fishing vessel, you could be someone who takes pictures and videos for fun. But then you’ll likely see traces of it in social media, says Associate Professor Lars Peder Haga at the Norwegian Air Force School.
He notes that it is common in the Pacific to hunt for tuna using drones. But he stresses that he does not know if it is widespread in the North Sea.
– But it is possible that Russian intelligence is concerned with the development of oil and gas platforms.
In this case, drones may be a better tool than satellites. Drones often provide clearer pictures and you can choose when and where the pictures are taken.
—To assess whether Russia is Russia, you roughly have to see it in the context of which ships were nearby and which drones were used, he says.
He stresses that it is quite reasonable and likely that Russia, in light of the tense security situation, will gather more information and intensify its work.
Do you think we will be clear about these remarks?
It is not certain that we will have clarity in all the observations, but something can be discovered, believes Haga.
want to ban
It would be just speculation about whether the drones were flown by tourists, or whether they were collecting information on behalf of foreign countries such as Russia, says Lieutenant-Colonel and Principal Andrej Berg Tomstad at the Norwegian Defense Academy.
He has hands-on experience and research experience in comprehensive defense, crisis management, and securing critical infrastructure.
In a way, this is part of the big game: to use a number of actions and tricks with the intent of confusing or intimidating, he says.
Regardless of who is behind the drone’s flight, Thomstad believes the answer is to take action:
He says the occasional and temporary ban on flying drones is not a huge sacrifice.
Do you think the authorities should ban drone flights or temporarily increase safety zones at gas installations?
– yes. Then we return to whether flying drones is a human right. The use of airspace must be regulated to the level of current technology, just as the regulation of road traffic has changed over time, Tomstad says.
It stresses that it is about helping facilitate the work of those responsible for security, whether it is in airports or in infrastructure worth protecting.
He receives support for a temporary ban from Luftkrigskolen Associate Professor Lars Peder Haga:
– Yes, it might work. He says those with evil intentions wouldn’t care, but that it might help filter out the noise.
“I think it’s hard to say what that is until we find out who flew the drones, what kinds of drones are, and we’ve removed the hype in terms of drones and what not,” Haga says.
According to Haga, the drone’s observations were ambiguous and there could be several sources of error in the observations – especially in the dark.
– It might be seeing a helicopter and miscalculating the distance, or masts with lights that you think are drones. There are many opportunities for making false feedback. When you first see drones, says Haga, you get a lot of error messages.
He stresses that you should, of course, report sightings that you think are drones.
— But that may be one reason why police and Equinor haven’t released information about the notes, he says.
If the drones are flown by nearby ships or helicopters, the work of finding the pilot can become more difficult.
They obviously didn’t have sensors that could try to identify the source when the first observations were made, says Haga.
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