• Client Algeria oil fields
  • Year 2014
  • Location Algeria
  • Category Extractives, Operational Security

Algeria oil fields: technical security design

Following a large-scale extremist attack on the In Amenas gas extraction facility in 2013, which resulted in the death and injury of a large number of personnel and a significant interruption in production, our staff were asked to develop a security enhancement programme for a number of major gas extraction sites in Algeria. 

The aim was to put in place robust physical and technical measures to provide effective perimeter protection to deter attack and deliver early warning of potentially hostile acts so that appropriate operational responses could be initiated. There was a requirement to provide physical hardening of production and accommodation facilities, access control points and site perimeters and to develop a long-range surveillance system to detect and verify movement in the area around the facilities.

The assessments were undertaken through a combination of site visits, client workshops, engineering analyses and technical reports. The vulnerability of people and physical assets was assessed and mitigation options were identified to reduce vulnerabilities to within agreed tolerable loss criteria. This was a painstaking process because of differing stakeholder objectives and budget considerations, along with the complex local political and security environment. Our staff were also closely involved in the assessment of vendors to install agreed security measures. 

The solution necessitated the integration of operational, electronic and physical security measures into site designs and the production of detailed scopes of work, operational requirements and performance specifications that were to be approved by all stakeholders. A review had to be carried out of the various available proven modern security technologies and an integrated long-range detection and verification solution had to be developed made up of ground radars, thermal cameras, conventional (optical and electrooptical) cameras with software integrating the equipment from different manufacturers.

It was necessary to factor the requirements of multiple stakeholders involved in site security, including private security, police and military, into the technical and physical solutions. This required effective stakeholder management and liaison through every stage of the project. 

Our staff provided a threat-led solution and a portfolio of detailed designs to mitigate the security risks to each gas extraction facility and the overall project. These designs were tailored to the specific threats at each location and the client was able to use them in a competitive tendering process to complete the recommended security risk mitigation installation.

Once vendors were selected and appointed, support was provided during the implementation phase with our staff working alongside the client-side implementation team. This included the review of vendor submissions to ensure compliance and the inspection and commissioning of systems.

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