There has been a paradigm shift in the outlook of PSUs/government organisations to upgrade their security and safety systems. PSIM systems are being deployed for integrating all sensors and real time tracking of incidents and response coordination.

1.    What are the prevailing challenges and opportunities in India’s Oil & Gas Security and Safety market?

The Oil and Gas sector represents one of the most critical non-renewable energy sources for most nations, including India. In India, the oil and gas sector has both government and private players operating in upstream, midstream and downstream areas. As the petroleum products have become the primary source of energy, the associated installations are considered as critical infrastructure of national importance.

Keeping the challenges in mind, Oil and Gas sector throws up many opportunities for the Indian safety and security market. The foremost will be to provide solutions for an integrated and comprehensive risk management framework that will include proper risk assessments, design and implementation of a cost effective mitigation solution encompassing physical and cyber security, networking of far-flung assets under one umbrella, coordinating of responses to an incident and sustenance of a robust security posture by periodic reviews and specialised training.The guidelines like OSIPP have to be made more stringent with liabilities and not be left open to individual interpretation as far as possible. Manpower training and verification is another critical area. Another opportunity is monitoring and response services for these clients especially in remote areas which reduces their on roll manpower still maintaining their monitoring and response capabilities.

2.    What are the new threats to India’s flourishing Oil & Gas sector?

The threat matrix is dynamic keeping in mind the criticality of these assets. World over, these assets have been targeted by terrorists, criminals, hackers as well as by insider threats. In India too, the threats manifest themselves against these assets in the form of cyber threats wherever there is vulnerability in the system and physical threats including natural ones. Employee radicalisation is another threat, which is gaining prominence now which may lead to lone wolf scenarios, espionage and sabotage. With IS and other radical organisations gaining foothold in the country, the threat of terrorist attacks also increases against these installations. Theft from oil pipelines remains a threat as well as leaks from pipeline. Offshore installations are also a lucrative target for siege/hostage situations as well as piracy. From a safety perspective, they are also vulnerable to loss of stability or station, structural failures and individual safety aspects.

3.    What are the best practices adopted to secure Oil & Gas sector in India?

The oil and gas sector in India is moving towards adopting global best practices in terms of shifting towards technology and automation from the earlier manual base. Organisations are resorting to a comprehensive risk assessment to formulate their risk mitigation plans. PSIM (Physical Security Information Management) systems are being deployed for integrating all sensors and real time tracking of incidents and response coordination. Analytics are being deployed to ensure authentication of alarms as well as to ensure that no incident gets missed. Well trained and enabled response teams based on high mobility vehicles are being used to respond to incidents rather than relying on thin deployment of manpower across all assets to protect them. Solutions are also being deployed along the pipelines to check for theft attempts or leak detection.

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