In response to questions from lawmakers on whether federal law adequately provides for the prosecution of "criminal activity against infrastructure," the Department of Justice recently committed to "vigorously" prosecute those who damage "critical energy infrastructure in violation of federal law." Historically, vandalism on oil or gas pipelines has been relatively uncommon, largely because most of the infrastructure is buried underground. Since 9/11 and in response to increased high profile pipeline construction projects, however, acts of vandalism—and more intentional attacks—have increased.
In just the past year, physical attacks on pipelines and related facilities have become more coordinated and more prevalent, posing a greater risk of accidents that could result in loss of life, significant environmental harm, or disruption to the reliability and continuity of the US energy infrastructure. Meanwhile, individuals and organizations inside as well as outside of the US continue to attempt to interrupt or damage pipeline systems through cyberattacks. These threats are significant, and they are occurring with increasing frequency. Examples include coordinated attempts in October 2016 to shut down five major interstate oil pipelines in Washington, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Montana (including breaking fences and shutting off valves); reports of protesters in Iowa using blow torches to damage pipelines; incidents in Florida of protesters climbing in a pipe to stage a protest; and gun shots taken at the pipeline. Some instances of pipeline sabotage (whether physical or cyberattacks) are not yet public because they present potential national security issues, but they are being investigated and coordinated confidentially with the FBI, DHS, and other agencies.
Read the full story here.
Don't miss our latest HSE content, delivered to your inbox twice monthly. Sign up for the HSE Now newsletter. If you are not logged in, you will receive a confirmation email that you will need to click on to confirm you want to receive the newsletter.
11 Nov 2018
- Abu Dhabi, UAE
Training course by Dr. Kamel Ben-Naceur
27 Sep 2018
- Dallas, Texas
8 - 9 Oct 2018
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Well integrity is often managed as part of the asset’s lifecycle production and maintenance. But ageing wells pose new challenges. Learn how to manage integrity sustainably.
23 - 25 Oct 2018
- Brisbane, Australia
24 - 26 Sep 2018
- Dallas, Texas USA
Be part of SPE's annual conference for great papers, networking, training, award presentations and so much more. Register today!
HSE Now is a source for news and technical information affecting the health, safety, security, environment, and social responsibility discipline of the upstream oil and gas industry.
©2003-2018 Society of Petroleum Engineers, All Rights Reserved.