DOE plans unit to coordinate defense of US energy infrastructure

Maureen Lorenzetti
OGJ Online


By the OGJ Online Staff

WASHINGTON, DC, Nov. 9, 2001 — The Department of Energy this week is expected to unveil a special unit within the agency that will coordinate homeland defense strategies for the nation's oil and gas sector, industry sources said Friday.

DOE officials were unavailable for comment.

Last month a group of 11 oil companies told Congress they planned to create a limited liability company to operate and manage an information-sharing and analysis center, under the agency's supervision (OGJ, Oct. 1, 2001, p. 22).

Electric companies already share information with each other under a 1998 arrangement between former Energy Sec. Bill Richardson and the North American Electric Reliability Council.

Global Integrity, a division of Predictive Systems Inc., Reston, Va., will operate the new energy center. Bobby R. Gillham, manager of global security for Conoco Inc., Houston, will serve as coordinator between industry, DOE, and various law enforcement agencies. Gillham was the point person for a June 2001 National Petroleum Council study on security threats to critical energy infrastructures. That report focused on cyber-terrorism but also addressed the physical security of pipelines, refineries, and other critical supply systems.

Companies participating in the newly-chartered Energy Information Sharing and Analysis Center are Anadarko Petroleum Corp., BP PLC, ChevronTexaco Corp., Conoco, Duke Energy Corp., El Paso Corp., Enron Corp. (to become Dynegy Inc.), Halliburton Co., Peoples Energy Corp., Phillips Petroleum Co., and Royal Dutch/Shell Group.

While policy makers are encouraged at industry's initial response, some US oil companies, such as ExxonMobil Corp., are notably absent from the roster. And organizers say that while participation is voluntary, strong industry participation is critical for success. One problem DOE is facing is that some companies are concerned that sharing information may make them liable to antitrust lawsuits.

But DOE and industry officials hope companies can be assured, either by DOE or by Congress, if necessary, that participation will not present legal liabilities.

Lawmakers are also aware of industry concerns. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) heard comments from industry representatives, including Gillham, at a closed hearing last month on the proposed center (OGJ Online, Oct. 1, 2001.) Bingaman also recently wrote 12 industry trade groups seeking input on further measures that the government could take to ensure the safety and reliability of energy and water delivery systems.

The congressional General Accounting Office first suggested that energy companies share security-related information as part of an interagency Year 2000 computer effort in the late 1990s.

Clarifying antitrust laws has bipartisan support in Congress and could be attached to either a spending bill or to broader energy legislation under consideration in Congress, congressional sources say.

Contact Maureen Lorenzetti at Maureenl@Ogjonline.com

Sponsored by FLSmidth

Related Articles

Oil Proves Durable in Cogen Application

In 1999, the Eastman Co.’s Texas operations celebrated its 50th anniversary and announced an agreement with CSW Energy Inc. to construct and operate a 440-MW cogeneration facility at its Longview, Texas, site.

Eat or Be Eaten?

Perhaps we should have seen the writing on the wall. Earlier this year, the CEOs of two major utilities made speeches supporting the use of a carbon tax on fossil fuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.
Follow Power Engineering on Twitter

Latest News

 MS Power coal-to-gas conversion nearly complete

MS Power coal-to-gas conversion nearly complete

A coal-to-gas conversion project at a power plant operated by Mississippi Power is nearly com...
 North Anna nuclear power plant shuts down

North Anna nuclear power plant shuts down

Unit 1 of the North Anna nuclear power plant automatically tripped offline Feb. 26 as workers...
 Oklahoma leaders looking for more wind regulations

Oklahoma leaders looking for more wind regulations

With wind energy production in full swing in Oklahoma, legislative leaders are looking to imp...

Second-oldest nuclear reactor in S. Korea OK to restart

South Korea’s nuclear watchdog approved a plan to restart a 679-MW nuclear power unit that wa...
 SunEdison to bring power to 20Mn people by 2020

Video: SunEdison to bring power to 20Mn people by 2020

SunEdison, Inc. (NYSE: SUNE) announced plans to bring electricity to 20 million people in und...
02-25 Henry Hub Average Natural Gas Spot Prices

02/25 Henry Hub Average Natural Gas Spot Prices

The Henry Hub is the pricing point for natural gas futures contracts traded on the New York M...
 GDF Suez wants Areva to deliver nuclear reactors, wind turbines

GDF Suez wants Areva to deliver nuclear reactors, wind turbines

GDF Suez says it received guarantees from Areva for planned nuclear reactors in Turkey and wi...
 CB&I: We’re not liable for $247mn nuclear power project penalties

CB&I: We’re not liable for $247mn nuclear power project penalties

Chicago Bridge & Iron (CB&I, NYSE: CBI) say they should not be liable for any of the ...

Power Engineering Current Issue

01/01/2015
Volume 119, Issue 1
1501pe-cover-lg

Products Showcase

Dynamic Fluoride Ion cleaning DFIC of industrial natural gas turbines Hi-Tech Furnace Systems

Dynamic Fluoride Ion Cleaning of IGT Parts

The Dynamic Fluoride Ion Cleaning (DFIC) Process from Hi-Tech Furnace Systems is able to clean deep, narrow cracks of oxides by cycling between negative, atmospheric, and positive pressure.

Archived Articles

2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015

Buyers Guide Company Listings

Power Industry Wire News

Intergraph(R) CADWorx & Analysis University Express in India During March to Include Sessions on Designing Plants and Offshore Facilities

Intergraph(R) CADWorx & Analysis University Express in India During March to Include Se...

What's Coming to the Energy Sector in 2015?

What's Coming to the Energy Sector in 2015?

SL Series Is Tinius Olsen's New Generation of Hydraulic Universal Testing Machines

SL Series Is Tinius Olsen's New Generation of Hydraulic Universal Testing Machines

Manitok Energy Inc.'s CEO Mass Geremia Interviewed by The Energy Report

Manitok Energy Inc.'s CEO Mass Geremia Interviewed by The Energy Report

UGE International Ltd. Announces Private Placement

UGE International Ltd. Announces Private Placement

Power Engineering

Article Archives for Power Engineering Magazine

Continuing Education

Professional Development Hours

To access a course listing associated to a specific topic listed below, click on the topic of choice from the list below.

Latest Energy Jobs

View more Job Listings >>