An off-shore oil platform at sunset with flocks of birds circling.

Unique bird control issues faced on offshore oil and gas platforms

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Here at Scarecrow, our range of bird dispersal and bird control equipment is used in a wide variety of locations, including airports, marinas, farms and leisure parks, and each of these facilities provides a unique set of challenges to our products and their end users. Of course, something that works particularly well in one place may not be appropriate at all in another, and as is always the case we continue to adapt and develop everything we supply to our customers. 

Birds that congregate on or around offshore oil and gas platforms create a significant set of problems for workers and management. First among these is clearly in relation to health and safety. Birds can become extremely aggressive when searching for food, for example, and in large numbers their droppings can be extremely hazardous to humans. Guano contains a number of dangerous chemicals, for example, and can also be slippery on walkways and ladders. 

Those who are in charge of pest control on offshore platforms will have access to a range of products and systems, not all of which will be aimed at the avian population. Some people may assume that rats and mice wouldn’t be able to thrive in such an environment, for example, but they can and do present a problem. Rodent poison and traps are a common sight on the vast majority of gas and oil rigs. 

Bird control is an issue that’s unlikely to disappear altogether 

Controlling the bird presence is, however, a far more complex issue, and it’s one that needs to be faced on a daily basis. There are many dedicated bird control products on the market, for example, including the likes of: 

Guano disinfectant

Disposable hazmat suits 

Goggles and overshoes 

Brushes and scrapers 

Netting and spikes 

…and more. 

Such products are vital, of course, but they are more concerned with the tackling of an existing problem, rather than deterring the presence of unwanted visitors. Scarecrow’s bird dispersal equipment is specifically targeted at the discouragement of bird flocks on a proactive rather than reactive basis. Using bio-acoustic technology minimises the risks caused by large congregations, and over time can discourage future visitors from not only assembling on platforms but also from roosting. 

For platform management, the risks caused by birds are unlikely to ever disappear altogether. Sea birds will always look for suitable sites for resting between flights, and for finding suitable food sources. They will also be seeking out safe locations for raising their young, and if they find one on a platform they will inevitably be aggressive when protecting their chicks. Another potential flashpoint can be on or near the helideck. Helicopters that are landing or taking off can be highly susceptible to an accidental bird strike on such occasions. 

The issues faced by oil and gas platform managers are, therefore, somewhat different than those on farms, in marinas, at airports and elsewhere. As always, Scarecrow is leading the way in state-of-the-art bird control equipment, and our team is ready and waiting to help and advise. If you would like to find out more, all you have to do is contact our specialists today. We look forward to speaking with you soon.