Industry News: Upbeat Q4 Results, Outlook Remains Positive for Houston Majors

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.

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Alarm Management Terminology: Why It Matters

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.

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Industry News: Letter to Strikers & The Cyber Espionage Group That Trumps Stuxnet

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.

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Industry News: Anthem Breach Prompts Cyber Security Review & Crude Drops Below $50/bbl Again

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.

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PLC Programming Do’s and Don’ts: What Programmers Really Want For Valentine's Day

What does every programmer want this Valentine’s day? Perfect code and a sexy control system, of course! So instead of overpriced roses and chocolate hearts, we’ve compiled the top do’s and don’ts when it comes to programming code for PLCs. Decreasing the amount of programming mistakes during coding helps to reduce any efficiency or safety issues, and avoid legal and monetary misfortune. That’s something every programmer loves.

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Fluctuating Oil Prices & The Impact On Automation: Much Ado About Nothing?

Oil prices have been dropping lower and lower (break out the limbo stick…). And while it has made many a happy customer at the pump, how are our customers feeling? How are the falling gas prices affecting the automation industry? No doubt it has been having an impact on current and short term automation projects, right? And since automation projects are only getting bigger and more complex, when we see oil producers dealing with halted exploration and mass layoffs, are we to assume that the automation industry will face a set of cutbacks as well? The reality is many companies predict there will be minimal impact. In fact, some industries are actually reaping the benefits of falling crude prices.

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Industry News: Events You Can’t Miss In February

It’s important to keep your dance card full, whether you’re networking, discovering the latest technologies or learning from your fellow peers about the best practices and key findings in your trade. But with busy work schedules, we understand it’s hard to make the time and do the research. That’s why we’ve compiled the top events during the month of February, so you don’t have to! We’ve wrangled the key dates and information. Take a look.

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United Steelworker Union Strike In Spite of Oil and Gas Market Conditions

It’s been almost a month since the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil dipped below $50 per barrel, and speculation about the short and long term effects across all segments of the energy industry and into adjacent markets continues. How long will the dip last? What will the impact be on national and international economies? And with E&Ps like Apache and Shell and service businesses like Schlumberger and Baker Hughes laying off workers by the thousands, will I have a job in the oil and gas industry for much longer?  

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Industry News: All About Keystone XL Pipeline

The Keystone pipeline has been the subject of a hot debate in the Senate for weeks. Now that Congress has approved the bill, make sure you don’t get caught at the water cooler not knowing your stuff. In this week’s industry news, we’ve compiled the top stories around the Keystone XL, both basic and advanced, to keep you informed and knowledgeable on the subject.

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VuRTIS Report: The BlackEnergy Variant & Kerberos Checksum Vulnerability

“If it’s not broke, don’t fix it!” How many times have we all heard that? Unfortunately, for those of us charged with protecting our nation’s critical infrastructure and key resources, that old mantra simply doesn’t hold true. We must remain vigilant in our pursuit of our adversaries, tireless in our efforts to outwit them, and steadfast in our defensive posture to “hold the line.” In order to do all that, security professionals must continue to strive to fix our networks before hackers get in. Cimation Threat Intelligence reports help you to do just that.

This VuRTIS report provides the top vulnerabilities reported in January 2015. One of the most-reported vulnerabilities includes the Kerberos Checksum Vulnerability. When exploited, this vulnerability puts domain administrator permissions at risk. Download the report for access to a live example of hacker, Rob Fuller, exploiting the Kerberos Vulnerability.

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