November 28, 2022

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Drone notes on the network control station: - "It looked like a small plane"

Drone notes on the network control station: – “It looked like a small plane”

Dagbladet was told by several people associated with Norwegian oil and gas facilities in the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea.

According to Dagbladet’s information, many drones must have a wingspan of up to three meters and breach the safety zone of platforms with a height of 500 meters.

This was also confirmed by the Federal Industry Minister for Energy, Henrik Solvorn Feldsboe.

Messages go on drones one and a half to three meters in size. Some were right on the platforms, he tells Dagbladet.

And all this without the approval of the responsible company.

Drones have also been observed at night, and these oil and gas operators in particular have responded, Dagbladet was told.

It’s not a pilot’s hobby

Drones should be of different sizes and shapes.

While one note indicates that employees saw a flashing red light that suddenly disappeared into the darkness, others described it as round and round with a black appearance.

Solvorn Fjeldsbø says he can’t confirm seeing the silver-gray drone, which looked like a small plane, but said he’s heard of drones.

– These are manual notes, they differ in description. I’ve heard of drones, but obviously there have been most reports of regular helicopters. He says we have confirmation that they have been noticed.

– Considering that they have so far been spotted at sea, and their size and range, one might ask if amateur pilots were behind it. I don’t think so, more logistics is needed than that. They may have been sent from ships operating in the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea, says Solvorn Fjeldsbø.

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He has pictures and videos

Dagbladet has been in contact with Sør-Vest County Police regarding this case. They coordinate and verify drone observations on the Norwegian continental shelf and onshore oil and gas facilities.

They won’t go into the feedback they received, but they confirm that they have photos and videos that they’re reviewing now.

The focus now is on accuracy, says Hilda Urdal-Fluisvik, senior advisor.

We receive messages that we verify further through witness interviews and verification of photos and videos. We regularly receive reports of drone sightings, and it turns out that some of them are not drones, but something elseshe explains to Dagbladet.

Equinor: – serious

A number of measures were implemented following drone observations in recent months, which, according to Solvorn Fjeldsbø, began in the summer, before becoming somewhat of a “daily affair” until mid-September.

Particularly in light of the Nord Stream gas pipeline leaks last month, which by all indications were due to sabotage, and meant that the Norwegian Armed Forces and Coast Guard have an increased presence in Norwegian oil, the measures began. and gas installations.

Police have also installed drone sensors on the platforms to identify any drones in the area.

The Petroleum Safety Authority and Equinor will not comment on the notes it received, and indicate an ongoing police investigation.

For security reasons, we do not comment on the circumstances surrounding any notes. For the same reason, we can’t share photos either, says Equinor’s press advisor, Jesel Liddell-Johansen, to Dagbladet.

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However, he says they are taking very seriously the unknown drone activity that has been observed in some of their facilities recently.

All observations are reported to the authorities.

– unacceptable

Henrik Solvorn Fjeldsbø at Industri Energi is the union’s health, safety and environment officer and also the union’s ‘helicopter expert’.

He adds that all drone activities within the platform’s safety zone are unacceptable and should be taken seriously.

He also insists there could also be a danger to helicopter flights to and from the platforms.

– Has it happened that helicopters were not allowed to take off or land on platforms due to recent observations?

– No, but a message arrived while the helicopter was on the helicopter pad. That’s why we are very careful to report all suspicious activity, so helicopter pilots get the information as quickly as possible and can ensure safe flights, says Solvorn Fjeldsbø.