A whale has been caught on video carrying out its own subsea inspection as a North Sea oil rig was spudding a well last week.
The crew of the Maersk Integrator captured the mammal on camera as they drilled the Ommadawn well for operator OMV in the Norwegian sector.
Viewers of the footage, shared online by Maersk Drilling, suggested the creature is a Minke Whale, which has since been confirmed.
Professor Paul Fernandes, chairman of Fisheries Science at Aberdeen University, said: “The tell tale sign is the white band on the pectoral fins (front flippers).
“They are about as common as you can get for a whale in the waters around the UK and beyond, with estimates of the population in European Atlantic waters of around 15,000 individuals.”
The footage has been viewed more than 17,000 times online since Maersk Drilling shared it.
The Ommadawn well sits in licence 970, not far from the Oselvar field which lies 155miles from Stavanger.
It’s not the first time that oil and gas rigs operating in the North Sea have caught incredible footage of marine life.
In 2019 a porbeagle, a rare and endangered type of shark, was spotted swimming near the Shell Shearwater platform which lies 140miles east of Aberdeen.