“The fight with oil tapping won’t end until we deal with the reasons behind the problem”

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The core regional security concerns and current threat level for the oil and gas industry were addressed last week during the 2nd Annual CACOGS 2015 Forum (Central Asia and Caspian Oil & Gas Security) which was organised by IRN, on 3rd-4th March at the Ritz Carlton, Almaty.

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The core regional security concerns and current threat level for the oil and gas industry were addressed last week during the 2nd Annual CACOGS 2015 Forum (Central Asia and Caspian Oil & Gas Security) which was organised by IRN, on 3rd-4th March at the Ritz Carlton, Almaty.

The first day of the Forum was chaired by the Security Assistant of the Minister of Energy of Kazakhstan and included insightful discussions about the problem of oil tapping, the security systems the group of national oil companies are using, and results they have seen so far. Oil companies work closely with the state, especially given that the solution to the problem of oil theft is not only an enhanced security system, but the vital importance of reducing the illicit oil trafficking market. The national oil transportation company, KazTransOil, is working with the Ministry of Internal Affairs on enforcing the same laws and investigations that apply to other criminal activities and misconducts nationwide. Although the security expenses to secure the whole pipeline network are high, the threat and associated costs merit the expenditure.

An enlightening panel discussion allowed panellists and delegates to discuss the challenges they face usually during crisis management. Amongst the challenges that the panel, which included security experts from NCOC, Shell, KazTransOil, Control Risks and the Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan, mentioned were; the ability of the crisis management team to implement a smooth transition to the business continuity team; and establishing a crisis preparedness mind-set amongst the employees. Employee’s previous experience often makes a great difference to how a crisis is handled according to the oil security experts.

A case study on security resilience in Ukraine in 2014, delivered by the Security Manager of Shell, shed light on how an international oil and gas company can plan its activities during an unexpected change in business environment, analysing the issues associated, and giving a review of the action plan, stakeholder concerns and the aftermath plan.

One presentation with great relevance to security managers within the oil and gas companies, focused on internal investigations, misconduct and criminal handling, addressing what is quite a sensitive issue for businesses, highlighting that apart from law enforcement and exemplification, the security department needs to think of the company’s reputation.

Before the private drinks reception and the gala dinner, the first day of the Forum finished with CMOC’s Security Advisor presentation on how the company acts effectively in cooperation with local communities to create a culture of safety, which is a very important issue for Kazakhstan.

The second day of the Forum was chaired by the Director for Russia and CIS from Control Risks, and started with a presentation on terrorist threats in the region. Chevron’s Europe and Eurasia Threat Analyst gave an overview on the terrorism threat in each one of the countries, concluding that the terror threat posed to oil and gas industry comes from local insurgent groups that aim to put pressure on governments through attacks on oil and gas assets. Islamic State is receiving part of its funding from oil trafficking and radicalised population inspired by the IS campaign who are unable to travel Syria and Iraq likely pose a bigger terror threat to the oil and gas industry in Central Asia than insurgents returning from the region.

Kaspersky’s Head of Advanced Technologies shared the renowned laboratory’s expertise on information security and points that can cause information leaks with the senior level delegation. With the industry being highly developed, it’s very hard for hackers nowadays to invade confidential data, however automated systems are causing vulnerability concerns for numerous reasons. “Confidentiality or business continuity” was the key dilemma he highlighted to the audience, as it has been proven by Kaspersky’s studies that confidentiality lead to attacks being unnoticed for a longer period.

G4S Kazakhstan and Kaspersky Lab were Gold Sponsors of the 2nd CACOGS Forum while the pipeline security company Atmos International and the subsidiary of the Israeli Aerospace Industry Elta Systems were its Elite Sponsors.

Other insightful presentations came from representatives from the national companies KazMunayGas and KazTransOil, China National Petroleum Company, TengizChevroil, Maersk Oil, Control Risks, OSAC and the Economic Security and Competition Investigation Agency “Pautina Kazakhstan”.

Security Managers from Schlumberger, Anardarko, Zhaikmunai, Mangistaumunaigaz, Korean National Oil Corporation - ADA Oil, TethysAralGas, Ozenmunaigas Lukoil Overseas, ExxonMobil Russia, BakerHughes, Shell Kazakhstan, Statoil Kazakhstan, Avencom, Caspian Pipeline Consortium, Selex, Betafence and WorleyParsons were amongst the senior level delegation of the Forum.

The Association of Oil and Gas Suppliers - Sozvezdye and the Caspian Strategy Institute - Hazar were supporters of the 2nd CACOGS Forum. More information can be found on the website http://www.caoilgassecurity.com while documentation from the Forum is available for purchase for those not in attendance.

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Xenia Sapanidi
since: 08/2013
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