Norway, Europe’s largest gas supplier and a major global oil producer, has been put on “red alert” following last week’s damage to the Nord Stream gas pipelines.
Even before the Nord Stream “accident” or otherwise “sabotage”, oil companies have recorded in recent weeks a sharp increase in unidentified drones, and the Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) warned on November 26 of risks of accidents or even deliberate attacks.
Norwegian police have deployed drones on offshore oil and gas rigs to investigate recent security breaches, VG newspaper reported today.
Benedikte Bjørnland, head of the Norwegian Police Directorate, told VG that the sensors were developed to identify any illegal drones and also as a deterrent to anyone seeking to use them in the first place.
The police department declined to say how many of Norway’s at least 90 oil and gas fields have been equipped with drone tracking systems.
“We don’t want to say more about it because we don’t want to reveal our capabilities to any adversaries,” Tone Wangen, head of emergency preparedness at the police department, told Reuters in an emailed statement.
Norway last week deployed its navy, air force and soldiers to patrol offshore oil fields and onshore terminals in response to spills in the Nord Stream.
Oslo even announced on Friday that it would also receive help from Britain, Germany and France for offshore patrols.