Waypoints of oil/gas structures in North Sea?

rhumbunctious

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Does anyone know of a reliable source of waypoint data for oil and gas platforms and other structures in the North Sea?

I'm hoping for something I can load into a charting program, to help work out a route roughly strait across from around Oslo to the east coast of England which avoids the most populated areas.

Understandably, locations are changing constantly, but having a reasonably up-to-date set of waypoints would be very useful in planning.
 

Rowana

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Here are acouple of sites where you will get the information you're looking for -

http://www.acorn-ps.com/web/page/oilgas/nsfields/nnsmap.htm

https://www.og.decc.gov.uk/information/bb_updates/appendices/fields_index.htm

On the first one, click on the name of the field and you'll get a list of information including coordinates.

The second one is just an alphabetical list where you will get the same information when you click on the name of the field.

You will have no ploblems avoiding them. They are all lit up like overgrown christmas trees! Just keep out of the 500 meter exclusion zone and you'll be fine! We used to see one or two yachts sailing between Norway and Scotland every summer.
 

Bilgediver

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Does anyone know of a reliable source of waypoint data for oil and gas platforms and other structures in the North Sea?

I'm hoping for something I can load into a charting program, to help work out a route roughly strait across from around Oslo to the east coast of England which avoids the most populated areas.

Understandably, locations are changing constantly, but having a reasonably up-to-date set of waypoints would be very useful in planning.

Forget about the oil platforms as they are lit up like Xmas trees and the loom appears before you see the platform. Be more aware that the semi submersible platforms may have anchor buoys on their 8 anchors at a radius of up to 3500 ft from the platform and these are unlit.

I would suggest you familiarise yourself with the location of weather buoys also which appear from nowhere in the middle of the night.

http://www.newton-noss.co.uk/weather/buoys/
 

rhumbunctious

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Related question: do oil/gas platforms and similar structures in the North Sea broadcast their position via AIS?

I.e. if I had an AIS receiver with proximity alarm, would it "see" these structures?
 

LadyInBed

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When I did a trip up to Denmark, the skipper was reluctant to use the radar!
Which made it hellish going through the oil fields at night, yes you could see the rigs, lit up like Christmas trees, but judging the distance was impossible.

Do the rigs push out an AIS these days? That would make the passage through them a doddle.
 

ChrisE

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Does anyone know of a reliable source of waypoint data for oil and gas platforms and other structures in the North Sea?

I'm hoping for something I can load into a charting program, to help work out a route roughly strait across from around Oslo to the east coast of England which avoids the most populated areas.

Understandably, locations are changing constantly, but having a reasonably up-to-date set of waypoints would be very useful in planning.

They are all charted so you use a chart for your planning. As others have said they are well lit.

However, beware rigs under tow, we came across one and it was about 2-3 miles behind its tug.......
 

pugwash60

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In general rigs have AIS and move from location to location and are not on the charts whereas platforms do not move (on account of being attached to the seabed) and don't have ais but are on the charts.
 

Pete54

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Some platforms do have AS - but they do tend to be in the minority. The larger Northern platforms are so large you would need to be deaf daft blind and $tupid to not see them.

In the southern sector the unmanned platforms do have the official navigation warning lights but are much harder to spot. Unfortunately the oil companies do not think they are making enough money to justify the expense of fitting AIS transponders.
 

rhumbunctious

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Some platforms do have AS - but they do tend to be in the minority. The larger Northern platforms are so large you would need to be deaf daft blind and $tupid to not see them....

Well, the fact is I will be singlehanding, and thus taking 15min catnaps, which is why I'm charting out the least populated route and looking to utilize as many automated warning aids as possible (thus probably all of 'deaf', 'daft', 'blind', and 'stupid' apply ;-)

Looks, though, like I may need to finally add radar to the boat...
 

rhumbunctious

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Here are acouple of sites where you will get the information you're looking for -

http://www.acorn-ps.com/web/page/oilgas/nsfields/nnsmap.htm

https://www.og.decc.gov.uk/information/bb_updates/appendices/fields_index.htm

On the first one, click on the name of the field and you'll get a list of information including coordinates.

The second one is just an alphabetical list where you will get the same information when you click on the name of the field.

You will have no ploblems avoiding them. They are all lit up like overgrown christmas trees! Just keep out of the 500 meter exclusion zone and you'll be fine! We used to see one or two yachts sailing between Norway and Scotland every summer.

Thanks!

The trick seems to be getting the data in a format for convenient importation to a charting program. I've emailed them asking about available formats.

Also, the data only seems to cover UK areas, so I still need to find data about the other oil fields outside of UK waters.
 

rhumbunctious

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Forget about the oil platforms as they are lit up like Xmas trees and the loom appears before you see the platform. Be more aware that the semi submersible platforms may have anchor buoys on their 8 anchors at a radius of up to 3500 ft from the platform and these are unlit.

I would suggest you familiarise yourself with the location of weather buoys also which appear from nowhere in the middle of the night.

http://www.newton-noss.co.uk/weather/buoys/

Thanks for this new information.

I've contacted them to see if the data is available in a common waypoint format. It would take some time to extract and define all those waypoints manually (though certainly doable).

(you'd think that organizations like this would appreciate the value of publishing coordinates of such structures in a common format for importation into charting software, google maps, etc. and do it automatically -- surely they must get asked for such data constantly)
 

Pete54

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To get the UK locations one of the easier ways is to use the Helicopter Certification Agency website.

The majority of platforms have helidecks which have to be inspected and certified. The HCA publish these certificates and naturally their positions..... on their website. Not a simple listing - although it may be that that hold one of those as well..
 

Impaler

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Beware that all offshore installations have a 500 metre exclusion zone around them, enforced by a standby vessel.
We had a tug on our stern to maintain a constant heading (we being an FPSO) about 500m of wire out and a yacht went between us and the tug. If the wire had come up he'd have been in to poo.
 

rhumbunctious

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Beware that all offshore installations have a 500 metre exclusion zone around them, enforced by a standby vessel.
We had a tug on our stern to maintain a constant heading (we being an FPSO) about 500m of wire out and a yacht went between us and the tug. If the wire had come up he'd have been in to poo.

Good to know. Thanks.
 

boomerangben

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The comments re platforms and AIS made me chortle. Some of them don't even have aero beacons and they get helicopters every day. Thank goodness for GPS.

The HCA don't have lats/longs for platforms, so the best bet would be the AIP which has lists of all the UK platforms:

http://www.ead.eurocontrol.int/eadb...FXUS/EN/AIP/ENR/EG_ENR_1_15_en_2011-03-10.pdf

This year and next look like there is going to be plenty of drilling activity and probably some significant seismic survey work going on. Of all things oil industry related, a seismic survey boat is perhaps the least friendly, often towing 2 or 3 miles (maybe more) of kit on or just below the surface.

It's a big sea out there and the chances of meeting something hard is relatively small. I would say you have more to worry from fishing boats. Sounds an interesting trip though.
 

pugwash60

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I'd not worry too much about the rigs and platforms, most rigs are around the platforms drilling new holes and difficult to miss, they are normally much bigger than the smaller plaftorms. If you're worried about it and intending to be sleeping for hours at a time, then make sure your vhf is on 16, the standby boat will be happy to give you a shout, it'll probably be the most interesting event of his trip.
 

rhumbunctious

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I'd not worry too much about the rigs and platforms, most rigs are around the platforms drilling new holes and difficult to miss, they are normally much bigger than the smaller plaftorms. If you're worried about it and intending to be sleeping for hours at a time, then make sure your vhf is on 16, the standby boat will be happy to give you a shout, it'll probably be the most interesting event of his trip.

When I do long solo trips, I only ever sleep for ~15 min at a time, and more during the day. If I need more sleep, I'll heave to; or if the conditions are calm, just lie a-hull, but seldom for more than an hour or two.

And yes, I keep the VHF on 16 -- so good to know about the standby boats.

Still, I'll be planning a route that avoids the most populated areas, and away from the busiest shipping lanes, just as a matter of risk management.
 
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