The Norwegian Petroleum Inspectorate has issued a warning about unidentified flying objects. According to a statement from Petroleumstilsynet (PTIL), oil rig operators off the Norwegian coast have recently sighted a number of drones or other aircraft in safety zones.
There are safety zones of 500 meters above, around and in the water for offshore platforms on the Norwegian continental shelf. Only authorized aircraft or vehicles can enter these. Apparently this rule has now been ignored several times. police is on the case it says in the message.
Several affected oil fields
The PTIL warns that drones could collide with helicopters operating on oil platforms. Furthermore, aircraft without a special license could cause explosions or collide with the oil rig, possibly even on purpose.
Norwegian oil rig operator Equinor earlier this month alerted police to drone activity on at least three of its rigs. Norwegian online magazine Aldri Mer reported in mid-September. Later flights of unknown objects were also observed. The Johan Sverdrup, Gullfaks C and Snorre A oil fields are among those affected.
Apparently there were no serious incidents. The Norwegian media is now speculating about the reasons for the drone flights on the oil platforms. They may have been used to collect information, for example for sabotage actions. Norwegian military expert Lars Peder Haga opposes this according to eg no On the other hand, conducting such reconnaissance flights so close to oil rigs in daylight seems amateurish.
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