Oil and Gas Industry Accounted for 25% of Victims in June’s NotPetya Ransomware Attack; Frequency of Incidents Growing by
350% Year on Year
ADIPEC 2017’s Security in Energy Conference Will Focus on Strategies to Mitigate Cyber Crime Risks and Deploy Defence Mechanisms to Protect Critical Industry Systems and Infrastructure
Abu Dhabi, UAE – 03 October 2017 – Organisers of the second annual Security in Energy conference, to be held in Abu Dhabi in November, say that oil and gas has been exposed as a prime target for cyber criminals after the industry was singled out during international ransomware attacks.
Co-located within the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC), Security in Energy recognises the increasingly critical importance of IT systems to oil and gas operations, and follows two major ransomware attacks in the first half of 2017.
The second of these, the NotPetya attack at the end of June, appears to have specifically targeted oil and gas companies. According to analysis by Kaspersky Labs, just three business sectors accounted for around 80 per cent of targets. Oil and gas accounted for around 25 per cent, a close second to the finance sector, and just ahead of manufacturing.
“Cybercrime is a serious problem for any business, but recent incidents raise concerns that oil and gas companies will be high-priority targets for attacks,” said Christopher Hudson, President – Global Energy at dmg events, which organises ADIPEC in partnership with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). “The Security in Energy conference provides a robust discussion specific to the needs of this industry, helping companies ensure that strong defences are in place.”
Recent reports predict the Middle East cyber security market will grow from US$11.38 billion in 2017 to US$22.14 billion by 2022. ADIPEC’s Security in Energy Conference delivers the latest market intelligence in energy security protocols, and places a spotlight on the best innovations, security practices and crisis planning within the industry.
Specific conference sessions will cover key topics in cyber security, including ransomware; the internet of things (IoT); the convergence of operating technology and IT; security and compliance risks in cloud computing; risk management for supply chain and business continuity and the use of big data and analytics. Keynote addresses will focus on the balance between investment and risk, and the impact of regional collaboration on oil and gas security, with discussions to include both defensive and offensive approaches to security.
The conference programme is planned to offer immediate relevance to oil and gas. For example, there will be a significant discussion of threats to critical infrastructure, where attacks could cause widespread operational disruption and safety risks. It will offer insights into and front-line protection strategies, whether for new systems, or by retrofitting of existing industrial control systems to build secure and resilient operations.
There will also be a dedicated Security in Energy zone within the ADIPEC exhibition halls.
“Illicit cyber activity is here to stay,” said Don Randall, Former Head of Security and Chief Information Security Officer for the Bank of England, who will be sharing his expertise during the conference. “But understanding the motivation of the perpetrators, with appropriate responses and education, can substantially reduce the risk and harm.”
The list of speakers will feature leading figures from organisations tasked with tackling cybercrime in the Middle East, including Ahmed Alshemaly, Director, Cyber Defense Centre, National Electronic Security Authority (NESA), United Arab Emirates; Eng. Ibrahim AlShamrani, Executive Director of Operations, National Cyber Security Center, Ministry of Interior, Saudi Arabia; and Mohammed Bushlaibi, Forensic Analyst, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), United Arab Emirates. They will speak alongside renowned international experts.
According to Accenture’s High Performance Security 2016 Report, 96 cyberattacks were reported over 12 months by oil and gas company heads, while 55 per cent of oil and gas leaders say the need to fill cybersecurity gaps in end point or network security is their most pressing concern. The Cisco 2017 Annual Cybersecurity Report estimates that the frequency of ransomware attacks is growing by around 350 per cent each year. The tools to conduct an attack are easy to obtain and easy to use. Ransomware is even available as a software-as-a-service subscription.
While the number of attacks is increasing, there are concerns that some oil and gas companies have reduced their security budgets as they struggle to balance cost and risk at a time when finances are under pressure, leaving themselves dangerously exposed. The Security in Energy conference sessions will aim to bridge this awareness gap, emphasise the importance of building a solid defence platform against cyber-attacks and understanding the fallout of an attack and its implications to business.
"Cybercrime is a threat to the global economy,” said Sandip Patel, QC, a UK-based lawyer and leading international expert on prosecuting cybercrime cases in court, and one of the speakers at the Security in Energy conference. “Some estimates cost it at more than 445 billion dollars, but the true cost is far greater as many countries do not report on this."
By co-locating security within ADIPEC, one of the world’s most important strategic gatherings for top global oil and gas executives, Security in Energy ensures that the integrity of systems is part of a broader discussion of industry issues.
A company’s security protocols are generally in the capable hands of the CIO/CISO. However, in order for the protocols to be 100 per cent understood and delivered, it is the priority of the entire organisation, from the top-down and bottom-up, to ensure a solid framework and delivery. Bridging the vocabulary gap between security professionals and their CEO’s and senior management teams is vital to ensure they are all aligned on the ever-present security risks to their organisation.
“Reducing cost and improving efficiency are important messages in oil and gas today, and many companies are investing in technology to reduce their costs,” said Christopher Hudson. “Keeping that technology safe and secure needs to be a number one priority. It needs to be as much a concern for the Chief Executive Officer as it is for the Chief Information Officer.
“Security in Energy recognises that this is a core issue for a modern business, and cannot be pushed into a departmental silo.”
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, hosted by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), and organised by the Global Energy division of dmg events, ADIPEC is one of the world’s leading oil and gas events, and the largest in Africa and the Middle East.
ADIPEC will be held at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from 13 to 16 November 2017, with the Security in Energy Conference to be held on 14 and 15 November.
- ENDS –
Held under the patronage of the President of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and organised by the Global Energy division of dmg events, ADIPEC is the global meeting point for oil and gas professionals. Standing as one of the world’s top energy events, and the largest in the Middle East and North Africa, ADIPEC is a knowledge-sharing platform that enables industry experts to exchange ideas and information that shape the future of the energy sector. The 19th edition of ADIPEC 2016 took place from 7-10 November at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC). ADIPEC 2016 was supported by the UAE Ministry of Energy, Masdar, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), the Abu Dhabi Chamber, and the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi). dmg Global Energy is committed to helping the growing international energy community bridge gaps by bringing oil and gas professionals face to face with new technologies and business opportunities.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Senior Marketing Manager, DMG Events Global Energy
Twofour54, Park Rotana Offices, 6th Floor
PO Box 769256, Abu Dhabi, UAE
T: +971 (0)2 6970 515
T: +971 4 275 4100
Mark Robinson (English): +971 (0)55 127 9764
Feras Hamzah (Arabic): +971 (0)50 798 4784
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The constant domestic fighting in Libya – a civil war, to call a spade a spade, has taken a toll on the once-prolific oil production in the North African country. After nearly a decade of turmoil, it appears now that the violent clash between the UN-recognised government in Tripoli and the upstart insurgent Libyan National Army (LNA) forces could be ameliorating into something less destructive with the announcement of a pact between the two sides that would to some normalisation of oil production and exports.
A quick recap. Since the 2011 uprising that ended the rule of dictator Muammar Gaddafi, Libya has been in a state of perpetual turmoil. Led by General Khalifa Haftar and the remnants of loyalists that fought under Gaddafi’s full-green flag, the Libyan National Army stands in direct opposition to the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) that was formed in 2015. Caught between the two sides are the Libyan people and Libya’s oilfields. Access to key oilfields and key port facilities has changed hands constantly over the past few years, resulting in a start-stop rhythm that has sapped productivity and, more than once, forced Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) to issue force majeure on its exports. Libya’s largest producing field, El Sharara, has had to stop production because of Haftar’s militia aggression no fewer than four times in the past four years. At one point, all seven of Libya’s oil ports – including Zawiyah (350 kb/d), Es Sider (360 kb/d) and Ras Lanuf (230 kb/d) were blockaded as pipelines ran dry. For a country that used to produce an average of 1.2 mmb/d of crude oil, currently output stands at only 80,000 b/d and exports considerably less. Gaddafi might have been an abhorrent strongman, but political stability can have its pros.
This mutually-destructive impasse, economically, at least might be lifted, at least partially, if the GNA and LNA follow through with their agreement to let Libyan oil flow again. The deal, brokered in Moscow between the warlord Haftar and Vice President of the Libyan Presidential Council Ahmed Maiteeq calls for the ‘unrestrained’ resumption of crude oil production that has been at a near standstill since January 2020. The caveat because there always is one, is that Haftar demanded that oil revenues be ‘distributed fairly’ in order to lift the blockade he has initiated across most of the country’s upstream infrastructure.
Shortly after the announcement of the deal, the NOC announced that it would kick off restarting oil production and exports, lifting an 8-month force majeure situation, but only at ‘secure terminals and facilities’. ‘Secure’ in this cases means facilities and fields where NOC has full control, but will exclude areas and assets that the LNA rebels still have control. That’s a significant limitation, since the LNA, which includes support from local tribal groups and Russian mercenaries still controls key oilfields and terminals. But it is also a softening from the NOC, which had previously stated that it would only return to operations when all rebels had left all facilities, citing safety of its staff.
If the deal moves forward, it would certainly be an improvement to the major economic crisis faced by Libya, where cash flow has dried up and basic utilities face severe cutbacks. But it is still an ‘if’. Many within the GNA sphere are critical of the deal struck by Maiteeq, claiming that it did not involve the consultation or input of his allies. The current GNA leader, Prime Minister Fayyaz al Sarraj is also stepping down at the end of October, ushering in another political sea change that could affect the deal. Haftar is a mercurial beast, so predictions are difficult, but what is certain is that depriving a country of its chief moneymaker is a recipe for disaster on all sides. Which is why the deal will probably go ahead.
Which is bad news for the OPEC+ club. Because of its precarious situation, Libya has been exempt for the current OPEC+ supply deal. Even the best case scenarios within OPEC+ had factored out Libya, given the severe uncertainty of the situation there. But if the deal goes through and holds, it could potentially add a significant amount of restored crude supply to global markets at a time when OPEC+ itself is struggling to manage the quotas within its own, from recalcitrant members like Iraq to surprising flouters like the UAE.
Mathematically at least, the ceiling for restored Libyan production is likely in the 300-400,000 b/d range, given that Haftar is still in control of the main fields and ports. That does not seem like much, but it will give cause for dissent within OPEC on the exemption of Libya from the supply deal. Libya will resist being roped into the supply deal, and it has justification to do so. But freeing those Libyan volumes into a world market that is already suffering from oversupply and weak prices will be undermining in nature. The equation has changed, and the Libyan situation can no longer be taken for granted.
END OF ARTICLE
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According to 2018 data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) for newly constructed utility-scale electric generators in the United States, annual capacity-weighted average construction costs for solar photovoltaic systems and onshore wind turbines have continued to decrease. Natural gas generator costs also decreased slightly in 2018.
From 2013 to 2018, costs for solar fell 50%, costs for wind fell 27%, and costs for natural gas fell 13%. Together, these three generation technologies accounted for more than 98% of total capacity added to the electricity grid in the United States in 2018. Investment in U.S. electric-generating capacity in 2018 increased by 9.3% from 2017, driven by natural gas capacity additions.
The average construction cost for solar photovoltaic generators is higher than wind and natural gas generators on a dollar-per-kilowatt basis, although the gap is narrowing as the cost of solar falls rapidly. From 2017 to 2018, the average construction cost of solar in the United States fell 21% to $1,848 per kilowatt (kW). The decrease was driven by falling costs for crystalline silicon fixed-tilt panels, which were at their lowest average construction cost of $1,767 per kW in 2018.
Crystalline silicon fixed-tilt panels—which accounted for more than one-third of the solar capacity added in the United States in 2018, at 1.7 gigawatts (GW)—had the second-highest share of solar capacity additions by technology. Crystalline silicon axis-based tracking panels had the highest share, with 2.0 GW (41% of total solar capacity additions) of added generating capacity at an average cost of $1,834 per kW.
Total U.S. wind capacity additions increased 18% from 2017 to 2018 as the average construction cost for wind turbines dropped 16% to $1,382 per kW. All wind farm size classes had lower average construction costs in 2018. The largest decreases were at wind farms with 1 megawatt (MW) to 25 MW of capacity; construction costs at these farms decreased by 22.6% to $1,790 per kW.
Compared with other generation technologies, natural gas technologies received the highest U.S. investment in 2018, accounting for 46% of total capacity additions for all energy sources. Growth in natural gas electric-generating capacity was led by significant additions in new capacity from combined-cycle facilities, which almost doubled the previous year’s additions for that technology. Combined-cycle technology construction costs dropped by 4% in 2018 to $858 per kW.
Fossil fuels, or energy sources formed in the Earth’s crust from decayed organic material, including petroleum, natural gas, and coal, continue to account for the largest share of energy production and consumption in the United States. In 2019, 80% of domestic energy production was from fossil fuels, and 80% of domestic energy consumption originated from fossil fuels.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) publishes the U.S. total energy flow diagram to visualize U.S. energy from primary energy supply (production and imports) to disposition (consumption, exports, and net stock additions). In this diagram, losses that take place when primary energy sources are converted into electricity are allocated proportionally to the end-use sectors. The result is a visualization that associates the primary energy consumed to generate electricity with the end-use sectors of the retail electricity sales customers, even though the amount of electric energy end users directly consumed was significantly less.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Monthly Energy Review
The share of U.S. total energy production from fossil fuels peaked in 1966 at 93%. Total fossil fuel production has continued to rise, but production has also risen for non-fossil fuel sources such as nuclear power and renewables. As a result, fossil fuels have accounted for about 80% of U.S. energy production in the past decade.
Since 2008, U.S. production of crude oil, dry natural gas, and natural gas plant liquids (NGPL) has increased by 15 quadrillion British thermal units (quads), 14 quads, and 4 quads, respectively. These increases have more than offset decreasing coal production, which has fallen 10 quads since its peak in 2008.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Monthly Energy Review
In 2019, U.S. energy production exceeded energy consumption for the first time since 1957, and U.S. energy exports exceeded energy imports for the first time since 1952. U.S. energy net imports as a share of consumption peaked in 2005 at 30%. Although energy net imports fell below zero in 2019, many regions of the United States still import significant amounts of energy.
Most U.S. energy trade is from petroleum (crude oil and petroleum products), which accounted for 69% of energy exports and 86% of energy imports in 2019. Much of the imported crude oil is processed by U.S. refineries and is then exported as petroleum products. Petroleum products accounted for 42% of total U.S. energy exports in 2019.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Monthly Energy Review
The share of U.S. total energy consumption that originated from fossil fuels has fallen from its peak of 94% in 1966 to 80% in 2019. The total amount of fossil fuels consumed in the United States has also fallen from its peak of 86 quads in 2007. Since then, coal consumption has decreased by 11 quads. In 2019, renewable energy consumption in the United States surpassed coal consumption for the first time. The decrease in coal consumption, along with a 3-quad decrease in petroleum consumption, more than offset an 8-quad increase in natural gas consumption.
EIA previously published articles explaining the energy flows of petroleum, natural gas, coal, and electricity. More information about total energy consumption, production, trade, and emissions is available in EIA’s Monthly Energy Review.
Principal contributor: Bill Sanchez