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Security News Desk Issue 22

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12 News Issue sponsor Perimeter Protection ere is little doubt that these are testing times for the oil and gas sector with various terrorist groups looking to attack, and even take over, facilities with a view to tapping into this revenue stream. Flying high When it comes to a timely warning of danger for petrochemical facilities, according to their proponents, tethered aerostats - or 'blimps' - are coming to the fore given their ability to provide a persistent view over a longer range compared to tower-based sensors, and in weather conditions, where other aerial options like drones may be unable to take-off. Moving off-shore, Brian Whiteside, CEO at US-based VDOS Global LLC says that drones also have much to commend them, including unlocking huge improvements for safety and inspection costs: "Typically to undertake an inspection you have to shut down the production platform but a drone can do this in real-time without an interruption." Regarding the deployment of drones for security, Whiteside says that there is value to be gained from using unmanned systems in regions where there is conflict and piracy. Whiteside confirms that VDOS Global is in discussions with oil companies in Africa and the Middle East who are seeking to deploy drones not just off-shore but, crucially, on-shore to enhance the security and integrity of their pipelines, and associated facilities. On the radar Coming back down to earth, ground radar is also gaining traction where large-scale oil and gas facilities are concerned for enhanced 360 degree situational awareness on the perimeter. A case-in-point is Navtech Radar's new AdvanceGuard HD (High Definition) radar system, unveiled at Intersec 2016, which it is claimed is able to separate objects just 25 cm apart. Nigel Crisp, Navtech Radar's Marketing Director, reveals that the company has worked on several petrochemical processing projects: "e majority are refineries or chemical plants in areas such as Dubai, Iraq, Turkey and Malaysia." Video surveillance Talking to Jon Cropley, Principal Analyst for Video Surveillance Equipment, at IHS (now IHS Markit), about the uptake of CCTV solutions by the oil and gas industry, he says that things have certainly been impacted by the falling oil price: "Companies instead of upgrading cameras or replenishing cameras frequently have held-off on investment. Sometimes they are taking quite expensive equipment - explosion-proof cameras - so vendors that specialise in those areas have struggled a little bit." Even in a tougher economic environment, business is still being won by security equipment vendors targeting the sector, a case in point being Synectics' recent announcement of a surveillance contract for Phase III of the North East Bab (NEB) Field Development located 31 km from Abu Dhabi. Synectics reports that it is working with telecoms, safety, and security systems integrator 3W Networks to supply an 'end-to-end surveillance solution'. is represents the first UAE deployment of the Synergy 3 surveillance command and control platform and also of the COEX C3000 HD PTZ hazardous area - ATEX certified - camera station, with integral IR lamp. Speaking more broadly about the requirements that come with rolling out video surveillance cameras in safety-critical petrochemical areas, John MacKay, International Business Development Manager (Oil and Gas) at Synectics, underlines the attention to detail required here: "Some people may think that it is simply about putting any sort of third-party camera into a certified camera housing and they are 'good to go' however there is more to it. ere are multiple considerations such as operating and environmental temperatures, integration between the camera and the PTZ functions, camera certification, and so on that must be factored in." Ultimately, says MacKay, you need to have a specialised camera housing which is tried and tested and can operate under harsh environments: "Our COEX products meet these challenges." He is keen to spotlight the fact that COEX camera stations and ancillaries have many years of research and development behind them to prevent and control the related risks of delivering CCTV systems into hazardous 'certified' areas: "Wherever a hazardous situation exists due to the presence of combustible gases and vapours within the oil & gas, petrochemical and the plastics processing industry, there will always be a requirement to enforce tried, tested, and proven, explosion protection measures to keep the personnel and plants safe," concludes MacKay. Microwave matters Moving on to microwave-based solutions, Martin Lomberg, Southwest Microwave's European General Manager believes that these can readily provide an added layer of security for oil and gas facilities: "e industry is pretty hard hit at the moment but we still do a great deal for refineries, storage areas, and on platforms. You have unmanned platforms in the Caspian Sea, for instance, where we use our explosion- proof microwaves. It depends on the threat really from petty the to kidnap, hijack, and terrorism." Regarding the technology for higher threat locations, Lomberg reckons that there is the potential to employ dual or even triple layer protection: "Our MicroPoint fence protection system can attach to any kind of fence." Lomberg says that, typically, the second layer of protection is 'volumetric': "at can be deployed as a covert buried cable system, which is an RF based system creating an invisible field. We have the MicroTrack which is a buried cable system or microwave," he adds. In the Middle East, for oil installations, Lomberg reckons that microwave is very much the preferred option over and above buried cable. Smarter solutions So to conclude, as the security threats to the oil and gas sector grow, and the oil price remains at a relatively low level, those responsible for site security are looking for solutions, from aerostats to ground-based radar, that are going to work harder for them when it comes to detecting and deterring attacks. Powering ahead with oil and gas security security news desk weighs-up the options to secure oil and gas facilities both on and off-shore. Synectics - the integrated security and surveillance solutions provider - announced back in June that it had been selected to develop and supply end-to-end surveillance solutions for two major North African oil and gas projects. e contracts are to deliver integrated command and control solutions for two onshore oil and gas installations of considerable economic and industrial importance to the region. e solutions will both incorporate COEX camera stations (fixed, PTZ, dome and thermal) and Synectics' Synergy 3 command and control platform. In total, almost 500 cameras will be deployed. According to Synectics, multi- location monitoring and control, camera functionality in extreme heat (up to 70 degrees Centigrade), system resiliency and the ability to provide full end-to-end turnkey solutions, were all factors influencing the contract awards. e scope of work for both projects covers process and security surveillance. Speaking at the time of the news, Amedeo Simonetto, Business Development Director at Synectics, said: "Security and process monitoring are both priorities for these developments, the solutions that we have designed meet an absolute need for quality and reliability thanks to Synectics' evolved integrated solutions." e first project, a production facility spanning over 3,000 kmĀ², will see Synectics' Synergy 3 command and control platform integrate with intruder detection systems and access control to create virtual perimeters and area cordons, while technologies such as COEX IP camera stations with up to 36x optical zoom capability will ensure comprehensive coverage over large distances. COEX TriMode camera stations, which adapt to specific conditions by enabling seamless switching between colour, mono and thermal imaging at the touch of a button, will also be used. e second project, a significant site expansion and new installation project incorporating processing, administration, and warehousing facilities, required a solution that would facilitate HD IP viewing and recording - integrating with legacy SD IP technology in some cases - from any one of four bases. Synectics points out that its Synergy platform provides flexibility to allow each monitoring and control location to have its own video management server, failover and redundant storage, while also enabling operators to view, manage and record feed from any of the other bases, therefore ensuring complete visibility across the entire development. Securing the two projects boosts Synectics' already impressive record in Africa. e business already protects vital assets including In Salah, El Merk and Pazflor FPSO. Amedeo Simonetto concluded: "Synectics has a strong presence in the African oil and gas market. We've provided both onshore and offshore solutions for key developments in the region and have found that our robust end-to-end offering has strong appeal for oil and gas companies facing significant environmental and security challenges. ese latest contract awards reflect our continued global expansion and position as a trusted and innovative provider." Major North Africa oil and gas wins for Synectics

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