UPDATED: Norwegian police investigate drone sighting at Kaarstoe gas plant

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OSLO, Oct 14 (Reuters) – Norwegian police on Friday investigated reports of a drone that was spotted flying over the Kaarstoe gas processing plant in southwest Norway on Thursday in potential violation of security protocols.

The Norwegian military Home Guard has been posted at Kaarstoe and other major energy export facilities since authorities boosted security at Norwegian oil and gas installations after the Sept. 26 Nord Stream leaks.

At 2130 local time (1930 GMT) on Thursday, the military posted at Kaarstoe reported that they had seen a drone flying in the vicinity of the plant, police official Kjetil Lussand said.

“Police responded to find the drone and find the operator. They did not find them. We have no suspects and no arrests have been made,” Lussand said.

Even before the Nord Stream incidents Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) had warned energy companies to be vigilant for unidentified drones.

Police on Thursday responded to a threat made by telephone against the Nyhamna gas plant, which alongside Kaarstoe and a handful of other Norwegian sites rank among Europe’s largest energy export facilities.

Norway is now Europe’s largest gas supplier after a sharp reduction in flows from Russia.

(Reporting by Terje Solsvik and Gwladys FoucheEditing by David Goodman)

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