The nation’s oil and gas refineries are the “No. 1 targets” of terrorism, says official : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

October 31, 2001 Official: Refineries targets A security official for Conoco Inc. addresses oil show audience, warns of terrorist threats. By Julie Breaux Odessa American

LAFAYETTE, La. — The nation’s oil and gas refineries are the “No. 1 targets” of terrorism, the head of global security for petroleum giant Conoco Inc. said Monday, the opening day of the 2001 Louisiana Gulf CoastOil Exposition.

“After Sept. 11, we must expect the unexpected,” Bobby Gillham told about 100 industry officials during his keynote address at the Cajundome.

“We are going to have to have our sights set on our refineries, which we expect to be No. 1 targets” of attack, he said. Gillham’s sobering remarks briefly pierced the camaraderie and back-slapping that are as much a trademark of the trade show as are the many free trinkets offered by exhibitors to court passersby. The 23rd biennial Louisiana oil expo opened on a clear, crisp morning with a ribbon cutting overseen by organizers and this year’s honoree, Gloria Knox , one of only a few female oil and gas landmen. During his remarks, LACGOE President Ron Garber also singled out about 20 members of the Permian Basin International Oil Show who were present at the tradeshow Tuesday as guests of LACGOE organizers. Gillham, a former high-ranking FBI official and member of the U.S. Department of Energy’s terrorism advisory group, said that beyond the obvious terrorist targets of institutional symbols of American power, such as the White House and the Capitol, he oil and gas industry is especially vulnerable to attack right now. Gillham said an advisory phoned into him before dawn Monday from the Department of Energy “particularly mentioned oil and gas.” “We have credible evidence of planned attacks on U.S. oil and gas assets,” he said.

Calling the oil and gas industry as a whole a key component of the nation’s infrastructure, Gillham cited several reasons why it’s more susceptible than other U.S. interests to both physical and cyber attacks. The industry’s global interconnectedness via the Internet and other information-sharing technologies undermines its security, he said. “We are rushing into e-commerce, but we are putting systems in place that are not safe,” Gillham said. “We know countries have been working diligently to wage cyber warfare.”

In addition, the changing political and regulatory environment that compels oil and gas companies to release increasingly pertinent strategic information is “drawing a roadmap to terrorists” who can access that information through cyberspace, Gillham said. The Sept. 11 terrorism bombings in New York and Washington, D.C., ushered in a “real new time for the U.S. and certainly for the oil and gas industry,” Gillham said before outlining several ways in which the industry can beef up security.

The oil and gas industry must band together and financially support the creation of an information sharing and analysis center, he said. For an annual fee, an oil and gas company would gain unlimited access to an “industry directed” Internet service provider offering real-time threat advisories to its members, he said. The National Petroleum Council soon will recommend the formation of such a service provider and the appointment of a permanent industry level coordinator, he said.

Gillham also said he will lobby for industry exemptions from the federal Freedom of Information Act and from federal antitrust laws to limit public access to potentially sensitive information concerning the nation’s natural resources.

On the other hand, Gillham said, the NPC will ask the government to release any classified material directly linked to matters of industry security.

He also urged the industry to devise terrorism response and recovery plans, to include local law enforcement in those plans and finally to spend a “little bit more money on fence line” personnel.

“At Conoco, we’ve contracted to double our guard staff at all our operations. We’ve tripled patrols around the plants, and we have armed police officers working 24 hours a day,” Gillham said. “Once we did this for safety’s sake, but now we’re doing it for security - to protect our industry and our infrastructure, because if you protect this infrastructure, you protect the economy of the United States.” Through closing day this Thursday, representatives of more than 360 oil and gas companies will be showing off state-of-the-art production and service equipment at exhibits located inside and outside the 10,000-seat Cajundome.

-- Martin Thompson (, October 31, 2001


Response to The nation’s oil and gas refineries are the “No. 1 targets” of terrorism, says official

And whose protecting the refineries in Venezuela, et al, of which we import 5% of our petroleum ditillates from?

-- Steve McClendon (, October 31, 2001.

Response to The nation’s oil and gas refineries are the “No. 1 targets” of terrorism, says official

I believe that if terrorists ditched a plane into the chemical complex along highway 225 in Houston, Texas, they would blow Houston off the map. There must be 25 miles of refineries, chemical plants, and tank farms.

-- David Williams (, October 31, 2001.

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