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Prepared by the
Institute for the Analysis of Global Security

March 31, 2004
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Terror's Next Target
Attacks on the West's oil and gas infrastructure -- from production facilities to pipelines and tankers -- are likely to be the next "mega" target of terrorists, and could wreak havoc with the world's economy, according to an in-depth IAGS analysis of the susceptibility of the energy industry featured in the latest Journal of International Security Affairs (Winter 2004).

Minding Its Business
Saudi Arabia, which has demonstrated its willingness to use its vast oil reserves as a foreign policy tool, has not acted to aid U.S. efforts to rebuild Iraq.

Fencing in looters and saboteurs in Iraq
Too many people in and outside of Iraq are hoping to deny Iraq a better future through a campaign of sabotage and plunder of the country's neglected oil facilities. The problem, and possible solutions.

Energy security and liquefied natural gas
Demand for natural gas has increased as have the security vulnerabilities presented by liquefied natural gas terminals and tankers.

Under the Radar

Oil, terrorism and drugs intermingle in Colombia
Seventy U.S. Special Forces soldiers are training Colombians to protect an oil pipeline.

Japan's struggle to secure future oil supply
Energy dependent Japan looks to Iran for oil, causing tension with the U.S.

Chad-Cameroon pipeline project put to test
Will the pipeline, partially financed by the World Bank, improve the lot of Chad and Cameroon or exacerbate existing corruption and strife?

Natural resource curse hits São Tomé
A tiny West African country illustrates a well known problem.

On the technology front

Fuel Cell Locomotive for Military and Commercial Railways
An international consortium is developing the world’s largest fuel cell vehicle, a 109 metric-ton, 1 MW locomotive.

Fuel cell power plant installed at NJ Sheraton
A stationary fuel cell will supply 250 kilowatts of electric power as well as heat to the Sheraton Edison Hotel, accounting for about 25 percent of the hotel's electricity and hot water.

Fuel cell scooters for Europe and China
Palcan's fuel cell powered scooter is designed to address the world's need for a low-end mass transport vehicle.

U.S. Air Force to get fuel cell bus
Fuel cell powered thirty-foot hybrid bus to be stationed at the Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii.

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Back Issues

New technology can help fight pipeline sabotage

One of the biggest challenges to Iraq's reconstruction is the campaign of pipeline sabotage that has thus far kept Iraqi oil offline denying the country much needed funds. According to IAGS's Iraq Pipeline Watch there have been over 40 major attacks on pipelines primarily against Iraq's only oil throughway to the Mediterranean, the pipeline connecting Kirkuk to the Turkish port of Ceyhan. The Coalition Provisional Authority has made protecting the pipelines and restoring Iraq's oil industry a top priority. Close to 14,000 security guards have been deployed along the pipelines and in critical installations using surveillance equipment and electronic motion detectors. There has also been a six-fold increase in the number of mobile security patrols. But all this does not seem to solve the problem. Now an Israeli company, Magal Security Systems, has announced a unique technology known as PipeGuard, that can significantly improve the security of buried gas and oil pipelines.

PipeGuard is based on the principal of seismic sensing of underground vibration. Using highly sensitive Geo-Phones tuned and calibrated to the required wavelength, the system can detect intrusion signals at a significant distance. The system components are buried along and above the pipeline, without touching it (pipes are usually buried at a depth of 60 inches, and the units are installed at a depth of about 20-30 inches). The only component exposed above ground is the 1 mm thick and 11-15 inch long antenna. When painted the color of the surrounding soil it is practically impossible to locate. In case a real threat is identified the corresponding sensing unit transmits a message to the control room, alerting the security crew and guiding them to the location of the event.

The system has a unique patented algorithm for analyzing signals and distinguishing an intrusion from background noise. In addition, PipeGuard defines the unique characteristic of each and every component of the overall signal, and then compares it to the signals stored in a vast library of seismic signal "footprints". Once there is a definite resemblance to a signal registered as a threat - the unit will declare an alarm, and the system will act accordingly. The system is adaptive and its performance is enhanced as time passes and its parameters are calibrated as it analyzes new signals.

The unique capability to sense, analyze and identify a real threat immediately as it is introduced, enables the controller to take action and guide the closest response team to the accurate location of event. In most cases, the system will notify the controller as early as the saboteur is organizing himself in the vicinity of the pipe by for example unloading heavy equipment from a truck. In most cases, this will leave the pipelines security team about 30 minutes to react before a contact with the pipe is made by the intruder.

Also see:
Iraq Pipeline Watch: Attacks on Iraqi pipelines, oil installations, and oil personnel