Mysterious Drones over Gas and Oil Fields in the North Sea

Energy - October 18, 2022

Unmanned, Almost Surely Military Drones, are Flying Over Strategic Points In Northern Europe Since Weeks

There are now many reports of activity still without an official explanation, of apparently military drones in the North Sea, in the proximity of gas and oil fields, on patrol and in close flight. In the last week, on 2 occasions, unauthorized drone flights have been recorded just above the Danish “Roar” gas field in the North Sea. The reports went directly to the police throughout the first weekend of October, as reported by Jyllands-Posten and, according to the Danish Offshore Industry, they are not amateur devices “lost” by their owners as hypothesized in the first instance by the authorities.

To deepen the mystery and fuel conspiracy conjectures, the sighting, in the week just before, of another drone near the Halfdan B. gas field managed by the same company that owns the Roar in Denmark. The fact that apparently similar drones flew over 2 fields belonging to the same company would suggest industrial espionage actions that in a period of extreme energy crisis such as the one we are experiencing these days, would acquire a completely different meaning and extreme gravity.

The Danish Roar field is about 230 kilometers from Esbjerg to the west, in the North Sea and this distance would be impossible to cover for non-military or not high-tech drones. Commercial drones could not manage such a long flight and above all, they could not be controlled from so far if not followed by other means of support, which at the moment do not seem to have appeared in the registers of the competent authorities. The probability that the drones have been launched from a ship or submarine, however far from the point concerned, remains very high and suggests strategic operations in view of potentially hostile actions, which absolutely cannot be discarded in a period of geopolitics instability like what we are now experiencing.

Even the oil safety authorities have asked energy companies to be more vigilant on unauthorized flights by drones, following other disturbing accidents in Norway where, in recent weeks, sightings of remotely controlled equipment on oil fields and gas, have increased considerably.

Around the Norwegian offshore platforms that supply the entire Scandinavian nation and part of Europe, some drones have flown over a space considered extremely sensitive and offlimits, especially since the beginning of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine due to the growing importance of energy resources.

The Stavanger Aftenblad newspaper reported that unidentified unmanned flying objects appeared just above some of the Equinor installations, Norway’s largest oil and gas company, including one relating to one of the largest oil fields in Europe, far 140 kilometers to the west of the Scandinavian coast. The danger consists not only in the possibility of espionage actions by hostile countries, which in any case is to be considered extremely serious during a conflict between gas and oil exporting countries, but also in the possibility that the presence of unauthorized drones may cause accidents with the helicopters daily used to transport platform workers.

Jan Egnsted, CEO of the drone company WeFly, which carries out inspections of critical infrastructures, asserts that drones capable of such long flights must be considered equipped with advanced technology, almost certainly military and, therefore, potentially capable of carrying explosives or weapons that they could cause irreversible damage to the platforms or gas fields reached. Finland, that is the closest northern country  to Russia, has decided, after such episodes of probable espionage or sabotage, to massively intensify all security and surveillance measures near the most important infrastructures at a strategic level, throughout the country.


Alessandro Fiorentino