Shady Behavior Places Gulf Helo Operators On Alert

 - February 4, 2010, 9:56 AM

Suspicious activity over the last two weeks reported near critical infrastructure and helicopter bases serving the Gulf of Mexico’s oil and gas industry has prompted law enforcement agencies to issue a fresh security alert. On Monday, the Louisiana State Analytical and Fusion Exchange (LA-Safe) issued a notice to all Gulf operators titled “Suspicious Activity: Helicopter Leasing Facilities,” detailing several unusual events that took place between January 21 and 28 in Louisiana and Texas. Allen Verret, executive director of the Offshore Operators Committee, told AIN that the alert was issued because of the “actions, behavior and ethnicity” of suspect individuals. This included surveillance of helicopter leasing facilities at Mouton Cove South near Abbeville, La., and Watercraft Leasing in Broussard, La. The two suspects scoping out Watercraft fled when confronted by security officers. On January 22, an individual inquired about helicopter rental at the BP/PHI Heliport in Houma, La. When questioned by security personnel, the individual refused to produce identification and departed in a black late-model Chevrolet Impala. Suspicious helicopter flyovers/hovers were also reported at the Jonesville (La.) Lock and Dam and the port at Orange, Texas.