Hmmm, you visited a gas terminal? Well, no, not really. Perhaps I should explain.
I worked for Shell Expro on a project for the hook-up and commissioning phase of a southern north sea gas platform, known as South East Indefatigable. In my role I visited sites producing the topsides of the gas platform and Great Yarmouth for offshore shipping support.
Computer and voice communications from land to the offshore platforms were by line of sight microwave links. The onshore microwave link, and gas receiving plants were at Bacton on the north Norfolk coast. I never visited the site while on the project, and always wanted to.
While recently on holiday to the Norfolk Broads, I achieved my goal, and visited the Bacton Gas Terminal, and saw the line of sight microwave communications tower [it’s my photo of the tower, click to expand]. Background to microwave technology HERE.
As a vital part of our power infrastructure the Bacton site is both miles from anywhere, and immensely secure. Even my arriving in the car park drew the attention of a security guard. We did though have a lovely chat about our experiences working the the oil and gas sector – he having a longer career in it than me. Anyway, the gas platforms I worked on are now decommissioned. You can read all about the decommissioning in the paper below.