Information Exchange: Publications

Analyzing Vulnerabilities in the Oil and Gas Sector from Incident Data

Author: ICIS

Presentation at Los Alamos Laboratories Risk Symposium, 2006 - Risk Analysis for Homeland Security and Defense: Theory and Application, Santa Fe, NM, March 21, 2006.

C.E. Restrepo (presenter), J. S. Simonoff and R. Zimmerman,

“The oil and gas sector is a critical infrastructure system with vital links to other sectors of the country’s economy. Analyzing vulnerabilities to potential terrorist attacks is an important process in the design of risk management strategies. The analysis we present uses real event data from the Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) to analyze potential vulnerabilities in the sector and to estimate consequences of spills and disruptions on pipeline infrastructure associated with different causes. The OPS data are divided into natural gas transmission, natural gas distribution and hazardous liquid accident data. The databases include detailed information about location, causes, components that failed, and consequences of the event. Examples of consequences include property damages, number of injuries and fatalities, evacuation needs, damages to high-impact areas such as drinking water supplies, and others. Of the three kinds of incidents analyzed, the natural gas distribution system events have the highest number of fatalities and injuries but the other two are associated with higher property damages. In this paper we use regression analysis to estimate consequences of disruptions by initiating cause. Examples of initiating causes include vehicle accidents, corrosion, fire, third party excavation, control/relief equipment malfunctions, heavy rains and floods, and others. Modeling this type of association allows us to assess consequences that could be expected from different attacks. For instance, cyber-related or Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) attacks may resemble an incident initiated by control/relief equipment malfunctions more than one initiated by heavy rains or floods. These analyses also provide inputs for estimating economic consequences of attacks. Another analysis we present is geographical concentrations of these infrastructure systems and their disruptions as well as location quotients to identify vulnerabilities in these sectors that occur by virtue of spatial concentration. The results of this work can be used as inputs into risk management policies for this sector and is a model for others. Acknowledgements: This work was supported by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security through the Institute for Information Infrastructure Protection (I3P) and the Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE) under grant numbers 2003-TK-TX-0003 and N00014-05-0630 respectively. However, any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect views of the United States Department of Homeland Security."

Date Created: March 2006; Date Posted: October 2006



  • Energy



Click the links above to reach the Information Exchange, a comprehensive database of ICIS work. Click on People for the background or experience of ICIS people and their related projects or publications. Click on Projects for the scope and details of ICIS projects and related publications or events. Click Publications for a list of ICIS documents. Events will lead you to ICIS events. Topic Areas categorizes entries by a particular area of interest.