March Madness is upon us and while many sports fans’ brackets have already taken a beating, to add insult to injury, attackers are targeting sports-themed passwords. It's passwords like, "baseball," and "football," that have made it onto Splash Data's top 10 most common passwords list. In other cyber security news, the House Intelligence Committee unveiled a bipartisan bill making it easier for private companies to share cyber-threat information with the government to thwart attacks by hackers. In oil and gas news, reports show that drilling activity is to rebound in 2016. Also, discover the most challenging oil and gas projects in the world. You might already know a few! Lastly, find out how an Amazon robot contest may accelerate warehouse automation in this week’s industry news round-up.Read More
Yet another surprise in the energy industry has many talking: It seems the United States is producing so much oil from domestic exploration and production that we are running out of places to store it. This lack of storage could not only drive oil prices even lower in the upcoming months, but could also have a severe effect on the oil and gas industry, especially in areas of the United States that are dependent on oil and gas trade. Learn more about the state of storage, the effects of storage inflation and whose pressure levels are rising along with the crude.Read More
We have seen the collapse in oil prices prompt many companies to reduce capital and operating expenditures. Now the question on many a mind is whether these cutbacks will affect cyber security spending. And if so, would it be a wise decision? As the energy sector tops Homeland Security’s list of industries under cyber attack, is it unwise to compromise security and other safeguards? In other security news, discover the top 10 ways to measure the effectiveness of your IT security program. Finally, find out the latest DOI ruling on federal fracking standards in this week’s industry news round up.Read More
It looks like many leaders in the oil and gas industry are calling for a change. From increased energy policies to lifting antiquated bans on exports, gain insight on why these leaders are speaking up. Then, discover why GE is in for a “crude” awakening. And who says no one in Hollywood understands cyber security? Learn which movie has been inspiring future computer scientists. Also, how will drones and NASA technology benefit the oil and gas industry? Find out in this week’s industry news round-up!Read More
Fatigue is experienced by every worker, regardless of their role and responsibilities. When working in an office, the biggest risk workers face from fatigue is extra typos or perhaps falling asleep at their desk. But for operators and field technicians, fatigue can have grave consequences ranging from failing to recognize or respond to an alarm to miscalibrating machinery that controls sensitive and/or potentially dangerous processes. Automated systems can help guard against these eventualities and other unintended consequences from shiftwork, night work and other types of irregular schedules. In spite of this, worker fatigue is a likely consequence of continuous process environments.
As anyone working in the energy industry will tell you (whether in oil and gas, utilities or energy generation), business is built on the backs of the workers who keep the well producing, plant running, or pipeline flowing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To keep everything moving smoothly, many of these individuals work long hours, irregular schedules or remain on-call to make sure that the continuous processes stay continuous long after most people are at home, in bed. From control room operators to offshore drilling supervisors, shift workers, night workers, or habitual workers of overtime often become overtired due to the nature of their schedules, making it difficult to concentrate or think clearly at times. And in hazardous environments, a mind cloudy with sleep is just not something you can afford.
Through a combination of training, education, and operator best practices, companies can avoid many of these risks and keep their employees operating safely and at maximum efficiency. In this post, we’ll discuss the causes of worker fatigue, the risks associated with worker fatigue, why it matters to the industry (think: PHMSA and other regulations), and ways companies and individuals can protect against negative consequences.Read More
It looks like industrial automation is trending among some Facebook execs. According to a recent job posting, Facebook is looking to hire engineers for industrial automation and robotics development. In other automation news, Frost & Sullivan reports that more and more automation vendors are evolving towards providing longer-term value as strategic partners. In cyber security news, find out what the number-one thing employees do that compromises their company’s cyber security. Finally, learn why Libya has declared a force majeure on 11 oil fields in this week’s industry news.Read More
Even in the midst of gas sector gloom, there are many who remain defiant and successful. In this week’s industry news, find out which companies have reported upbeat results and increased earnings in Q4 despite fluctuating energy prices. Also, the Houston Chronicle reports that those in the know believe that this bubble of low oil prices will not last. Finally, learn the latest news on alarm management and read up on why it matters to you.Read More
You’ve been tasked with creating an alarm management program for your facility. No big deal, right? But as you start scoping out the project, you find that there are dozens, sometimes hundreds, of processes, valves, and sensors that need monitoring, and you realize you hardly have a big enough team to manage them. The steps that follow can be daunting. Defining your events and alarms; prioritizing those alarms; defining appropriate responses…the list goes on and on. We get it. Although control rooms are designed to provide a global view of plant processes, it is impossible for the operations team to specifically oversee each process and/or system simultaneously. What’s even more troublesome is that just one malfunction in any one system can have potentially costly or dangerous consequences for the facility, the staff, and the environment.Read More
The largest oil worker strike since 1980 is now on its 20th day, and Shell and USW representatives are continuing negotiations. In this week’s news round-up, we’ve included the latest letter from one of the 11 affected refineries in Houston, inviting its mployees to return to work. In other (better and brighter!) news, it looks like oil and gas industry revenue is flowing into Harrison County and Shell is investing in new shale sensing technology. As for cyber security news, find out which ‘master’ cyber espionage group has trumped Stuxnet and what are the best ways to manage your patching efforts.Read More
Just when we thought things were looking up, crude prices drop again. NYMEX crude prices have dropped below $50/bbl. Not to mention, companies like Apache are slashing rig counts and other expenditures due to these low oil prices. Also, the Anthem breach not only has its users on edge, but the New York Department of Financial Services as well. Find out why in this week’s industry news.Read More