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A new subject in the area of personnel and equipment security has appeared in the late 1990s. Conditions in the Middle East, West Africa, and areas around the world with radical religious sects have required operators and drilling contractors to take security steps not envisioned just 10 years ago. Because overseas operations usually involve air flights for personnel, sometimes into hostile countries, use of security consultants and constant contact with local governments and intelligence agencies are now common. In highly sensitive areas, the following precautions are often taken:

  • Crews do not ride in buses, a step taken to lessen the risk and to disperse the potential targets
  • Crew boats are searched for explosives
  • Security personnel are stationed on board with minute-by-minute communications with army and air force support
  • Hotels are carefully picked for ease of escape
  • Contingency plans are drawn up for every conceivable event
  • Local personnel have 24-hour evacuation plans and stay packed for quick exit
  • A low profile is emphasized, with advice given to stay out of native crowds
  • Hired drivers are used to drive evasively and to lessen the risk of an expatriate getting in an accident and in one case, a 3-mile “no entrance zone” by sea or air was placed around a MODU.


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