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Oil & Gas Networks and Systems Resilience

To borrow from the observation(s) from a WEF paper (2021), the digital revolution and the energy transition have jointly transformed the oil and gas industry’s decades-old business model in just a few short years. Today, companies control physical energy assets by linking operational technology with information technology networks that leverage big data, artificial intelligence, and automation.

Current environment:

The world’s most sophisticated and complex industries make a multifaceted transition – from analogue to digital, centralized to distributed and fossil-based to low-carbon. The new wave of digital solutions integrates operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT), leveraging the power of emerging technologies, to help the oil and gas industry innovate for the energy transition.

  • This shift exposes critical infrastructure and entire supply chains to cyber-physical risks, making cyber-physical security a core requirement of the business model.
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The proliferation in Oil & Gas sector:

The industrial device connections are expected to reach 37 billion by 2025, meaning digitalization is rapidly transforming the oil and gas industry from a commodity-based business run on analogue equipment into an automated, remotely controlled, and artificial intelligence (AI)-driven industry that makes risk-based decisions with internet-like speed. 

  • Digital transformation stands to unlock nearly $2 trillion worth of value for the oil and gas industry.

The rapid pace of digitalization comes at a cost, however; as oil and gas companies digitize operations, they simultaneously expose their companies to various threats and risks, including failure of the backbone of their operations – the networks and systems.

The objective:

Build a comprehensive governance model with the capacity to manage and oversee resilience for IT, OT, physical security, health and safety environment, and digital transformation.


“The capacity of systems to absorb a disturbance, recover from disruptions and adapt to changing conditions while retaining essentially the same function as prior to the disruptive shock.” (OECD, 2019).

  • Regarding an information system, it is the ability to continue to: (i) operate under adverse conditions or stress, even if in a degraded or debilitated state, while maintaining essential operational capabilities; and (ii) recover to an effective operational posture in a time frame consistent with mission needs.
  • It is the ability to quickly adapt and recover from any known or unknown changes to the environment through holistic implementation of risk management, contingency, and continuity planning.

Network Redundancy vs. Network Resilience: 

  • Redundancy is an all-or-nothing approach to provide continuous network operation, while the resilience is the recovery from smaller system faults on a single network device or between devices without needing duplicate hardware and software. It uses built-in system intelligence to recover from faults that occur from time to time. 
  • In most cases, redundancy can be thought of as the ability to fail over, while resilient network functions focus on self-recovery methods.

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