The Spectrum Disconnect At The FCC

Which of the following statements best reflects the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) view of spectrum requirements in the energy industry?

No Pipeline? For Businesses Hungry For Natural Gas, A Truck Will Do

There’s little debate that switching from fuel oil to natural gas, with its lower emissions, domestic abundance and low and stable price point, represents an opportunity for fuel-intensive businesses in North America. There’s also no argument that pipelines are the best method for delivering gas. But for businesses located off a pipeline route, the tumble in natural gas prices hasn’t benefited them nearly as much as it has their competition. For some, pipeline projects may come eventually; for others, there is no construction even being discussed.

Five Key Challenges In The Oil And Gas Industrial Control System

An Industrial Control System (ICS) is comprised of many disparate components, including hardware and software technologies, the system infrastructure--from the communications network to the physical plant--the human element for tasks that require manual intervention, and the environment.

Cybersecurity For Pipeline, Gas Companies

Securing pipeline and gas companies’ critical infrastructure is an evolving process. Embracing that fact is a key element in the development of a logical program that will ensure safety, security and effectiveness. There are four logical phases in this process with defined actions that can be measured and coordinated.

Sounding The Cybersecurity Alarm

Cybersecurity. Executives now take it much more seriously than even a couple of years ago, as hackers continue wreaking devastating impact worldwide, with 40% of all attacks directed at oil and gas companies. Being victimized by exponentially more attacks aimed not only at just compromising systems, but also causing severe disruptions, stealing proprietary information and for financial gain, the time to take action was literally “yesterday.”

Pipeline Remote Operations: The Human Factor

This article presents a primary justification for an Emergency Operations Center (EOC), the Human Element. Human Factors is a critical component in all safety programs, particularly PHMSA CFR 49 Parts 190-194, Pipeline Safety. It is a relatively new, but mature science and an increasingly mature engineering discipline in the process industries. It is also an area that is often overlooked and not well understood.

PHMSA Pressured to Turn on Pipeline Valves Rulemaking

A Columbia Gas & Transmission Corp. pipeline leak in West Virginia in December has reignited the debate over installation of automatic shutoff valves (ASVs) and remote control valves (RCVs) as a means of quickly limiting the potentially disastrous effects of a pipeline explosion and subsequent fire. The fire in Sissonville destroyed three homes and closed a section of a major highway for 14 hours.

Cyber Trickery Is Not Exactly New

Thinking about cyber and energy goes back to a great myth, which may or may not be true. It has long been rumored that agents of the Soviet government illegally obtained an industrial control computer by clandestine means from a Canadian manufacturer in the 1980s.

Canadian Natural Resources Automates Operations With Latest SCADA Technology

Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL), founded in 1989 and headquartered in Calgary, possesses a diversified combination of assets in North America, the North Sea and offshore Africa and is the largest independent crude oil and natural gas producer in Canada.

Emerging Legal Issues In Managing Cyber Risk for Pipelines

Oil and gas pipelines provide a significant amount of America’s energy demands. Like most energy infrastructure, pipelines rely on Industrial Control Systems (ICS), including Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, that function on computerized and communication networks. As a result, these networks present vulnerability and can be targets of cyber threats.

Five Practical Elements Of Effective SCADA Graphics

Good Human Machine Interface (HMI) design is essential to maximizing the value of a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system. As SCADA and instrumentation technology has advanced, it has become easier and less costly to add information to the displays.

Latest Threats To Pipeline, Production And Process Management Systems

<strong>The Secret War: Stuxnet, Duqu And Flame</strong> The highly complex computer worm called Stuxnet, targeted at sophisticated industrial control systems, was first identified in July 2010. The arrival of Stuxnet changed everything . . . it was a harbinger of the shape of things to come.

Seven Questions To Ask Before Building Satellite SCADA Network

Traditional satellite communications have had a stigma of being expensive and requiring large, power-hungry terminals that are complex to integrate with your applications.

Power Conditioning, Backup Protection Of Pipeline SCADA Systems In Harsh Environments

The management of complex gas and oil pipeline systems demands constant, reliable system-wide control. Typically this is accomplished with system-wide monitoring and control using sophisticated System Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) equipment.

Cyber Security And SCADA In Critical Infrastructure

Ensuring the stability and protection of critical infrastructure is essential to the nation's public health and safety, security, economic strength and way of life. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently revealed a rash of cyber attacks on natural gas pipeline companies.

Solving The Cybersecurity Puzzle

“Energy firms have spent vast sums on the security of their information systems, but they must reorient from a reactive, tactical posture regarding intrusions and attacks to a more strategic, holistic view that expands beyond the categorization of the issue as only an IT problem."

Trainer Of Pipeline Control Room Operators Reviews Evolving Function

Control room functions at natural gas and oil companies are drawing unprecedented attention from industry officials and regulators alike. The complex applications that call for human attention are multiplying, raising the bar on operator candidate minimum capabilities requirements. The human-machine interfaces are getting smaller and smarter. The challenge is for operators to grow in their jobs, efficiently handling the burgeoning information flow.

Defense In Depth Enables Protection Of Critical Pipeline Assets

Industrial Control Systems (ICS) - such as supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems - manage and monitor critical storage, refining and distribution operations at many energy pipeline companies. These systems collect data from points throughout the operation and communicate control commands to equipment located both locally and remotely.

Managing Mandated Change in Pipeline Control Room Operations

Creating a process for 49 CFR control room regulation compliance requires a great deal of thought, but ensuring that the hard work put into the investigative and implementation phases continue past a few months can require even more thought. To realize these benefits, pipeline operators must rise to meet a number of challenges, not the least of which is managing change.

Product Showcase: The Only SCADA & EFM Communication Software You Need

Kepware has listened and is delivering a reliable and affordable EFM (Electronic Flow Measurement) solution to complement their existing KEPServerEX OPC Server for the Oil & Gas Industry.

Homeland Security Investigates Cyber Attacks On Gas Pipelines

There has been an "active series" of cyber attacks on natural gas pipeline companies' computer networks over the past four months, according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Pipeline Security: New Technology For Todays Demanding Environment

The protection of oil, gas and refined product pipelines against sabotage, illegal tapping and terrorist action, combined with the detection of leaks and in-line equipment failure, is a high priority in all countries, but has been notoriously difficult to achieve.

Effective Integrity Management With Advanced Communication Technologies

More than 2 million miles of natural gas pipeline in the United States distribute natural gas to customers every day. Considering the amount of natural gas flowing across the country at any given time, gas providers have an exceedingly good safety record. While serious incidents are uncommon, all it takes is one major event like the San Bruno explosion in September 2010 to focus national attention on the potential risk of natural gas and the need for continued diligence on the part of the gas industry.

FMC Acquiring Control Systems

FMC Technologies, Inc. announced Feb. 17 that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Control Systems International, Inc. Terms were not disclosed.

Unbreakable SCADA Security Essential For Pipelines

Located In the heart of Russia, the rich Samotlor hydrocarbon field was discovered in the 1960s. It is the largest oil and gas field in the country. It lies in Western Siberia where temperatures can range from minus 58°F in winter to 95°F in summer.

Next Generation Cyber Attacks Target Oil And Gas SCADA

Anyone working with SCADA or industrial control systems (ICS) in the oil and gas industry is aware of the pressure to increase productivity and reduce costs through network integration. For example, sharing real-time data from field operations with management is standard practice for most companies. Similarly, the demand for remote support has made many pipeline control systems accessible via Internet-based technologies.

Integrating Leak Detection Into SCADA Systems

For pipeline operators, deciding to implement leak detection is easy. However, determining how to accomplish it is hard. Leak detection is a good tool for quickly raising alarms for theft, identifying product loss due to wear and corrosion to the pipe, and/or preventing environmental events caused by spills.

SCADAs New Role Looms Large In Future

Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (“SCADA”) systems have matured over their 20 years of mainstream use in the oil and gas industry. This article will take a look at the current trends and SCADA’s future direction as perceived by the writer.

Executives Confident Of Information Security Practices

PwC US has released a new report entitled, “Eye of the Storm,” which provides findings on information security for the oil and gas industry, based on survey responses from 143 senior industry executives. PwC found that despite data exploitation being up across the board, executives remain confident in their security practices as they have a set strategy in place.

Intelligent Control Room Management For Oil And Gas Pipeline Safety

Globally, mankind has more than 1,500,000 km of oil and gas pipelines – with more than 600,000 km in North America alone. These numbers are even higher when one adds pipelines transporting other hazardous gases and liquids. Though efficient and critical, these pipelines carry high costs for individual safety incidents. Around the world, pipeline safety and security are immediate concerns, both for industry and government.