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Gassco, the Norwegian state-owned natural gas company, has announced that it plans to increase security at its onshore gas facilities following violence over the past couple of years.
Norway, the second largest gas supplier to the EU after Russia, has been persuaded to increase security at its gas installations by the attacks at the In Amenas natural gas plant in Algeria in 2013, and the actions of extremist Anders Behring Breivik in Norway in 2011.
Brian Bjordal, the managing director at Gassco, confirmed at an industry conference that their decision had been “motivated by In Amenas and July 22 (the Anders Breivik attack).”
On the 22nd of July 2011, far right extremist Anders Behring Breivik set off a bomb in central Oslo, killing eight, and then went onto gun down a further 69 people before begin arrested.
On the 16th of January 2013, 40 people, including five Statoil employees, were killed when Islamist militants raided the In Amenas gas plant in the Sahara Desert region of Algeria.
Gassco has decided that it will increase its security, focussing on the detection of intruders, in order to prevent any such attack happening at its facilities in the future.
Bjordal explained to Reuters that “it is ... a question of the physical, detection systems, cameras, other kinds of sensor systems so that you can actually detect very fast what the threat is, as quickly as possible.
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It is primarily for the onshore installations in Norway. We are going to have decisions before Christmas about additional measures.”
When asked whether or not the new security measures will involve tighter cyber defences (cyber-attacks have become one of the largest threats to the energy sector) Bjordal replied that “on the cyber side we feel very comfortable. We have a very sophisticated system to avoid cyber threats and mitigate the consequences if something happens.”
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com