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Cybersecurity for Upstream Operations

Fig. 1—The steps of risk management as applied to a simulated cyberattack scenario.

During well drilling and completion, cybersecurity is critical for securing data to prevent hacking or the loss of software programs. Paying attention to data flow, with the goal of protecting the data as well as the facility, while developing capabilities to deal with intrusions is important. This is the essence of cybersecurity and operational leadership. This paper emphasizes the value gained by investing in cybersecurity for drilling, workover, and completion operations.

Introduction

Countless engineering and research projects have addressed cybersecurity for downstream operations. Other works have discussed remote upstream operation models along with data flow and information management that have been implemented to digitize the upstream industry, moving it to a new level of automation, efficiency, and improved overall performance. The benefits of the transforming digitization include assurance, cross-organizational collaboration, leveraging of knowledge, and safer operations with minimal human presence on the well site because of remote control. On the other hand, sensors, controls, and networks are added when intelligence is added. This digital expansion creates vulnerability and more entry points—back doors—to exploit defects and weaknesses. One of the reasons for this proliferation of weaknesses is that no logical system can describe a physical system perfectly because too many pieces are involved.

This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights of paper OTC 28121, “Cybersecurity for Upstream Operations,” by Mohammed A. AlGhazal, SPE, and Mohammad J. AlJubran, SPE, Saudi Aramco, prepared for the 2017 Offshore Technology Conference Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, 24–26 October. The paper has not been peer reviewed. Copyright 2017 Offshore Technology Conference. Reproduced by permission.
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Cybersecurity for Upstream Operations

01 August 2018

Volume: 70 | Issue: 8

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