Schneider Electric, a global automation and energy management firm, has called for widespread adoption of smart technology for resilient pipeline infrastructure to guarantee energy security and a sustainable energy future for Nigeria.
Speaking at the Nigeria International Pipeline Technology and Security Conference, Damiete Thomas, process automation specialist, at Schneider Electric, spoke on the urgent need for Nigeria’s energy security and sustainability for speedy industrialisation and economic growth through the lens of securing the nation’s critical pipeline infrastructures.
“There is an imperative need to incorporate proven and reliable smart solutions on our critical pipeline infrastructure, transporting hydrocarbons and petroleum products for domestic and export obligatory requirements.
“These technologies should be evaluated and made the basis upon which pipelines are conceptualised, designed, constructed, and managed to prevent frequent intrusion leading to operational failures as we are currently experiencing.
“Artificial Intelligent technologies that will enable accurate real-time monitoring of the pipeline infrastructure, predict scenarios, forecast challenges, and prevent a digital breach-cybercrime.
“Schneider Electric is at the center of implementing artificial intelligent enabled and cybersecurity solutions for accurate, real-time, and secure monitoring that predict scenarios and forecast challenges on the pipeline infrastructures for effective and efficient operational gains.
“Either deployed independently or as a combined solution, the AVEVA and Prisma Photonics solutions are designed to effectively monitor these infrastructures, with its integrated cybersecurity features that will ensure greater efficiency and reliable security solutions,” he said.
Damiete mentioned involving key stakeholders like Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Upstream operators, regulatory authorities, pipeline companies like West African Gas Pipeline Company, Umugini Pipeline Infrastructure, and pipeline construction companies like Oilserv Limited, etc in the design and construction phases laying a proper foundation for a “Unified Pipeline Operation Center.”
In addition, he highlighted the significance of intelligence in predicting potential threats, “The growing concern of digital breaches and cybercrimes poses an even more dangerous threat than the physical incursion we see on our pipelines.”
He said that the next phase of attacks on the pipeline infrastructure would be cyber-attacks that could shut down the entire economy of the nation unless a demanded ransom is paid to cyber criminals.
“That is why Schneider Electric is engaging stakeholders to implement advanced cyber-secure solutions alongside the sensing and monitoring solutions in the pipeline,” he said.
In response to these developments, Ajibola Akindele, country president, Schneider Electric, said, “The integration of advanced monitoring and cybersecurity solutions in pipeline infrastructure is crucial for our nation’s sustainable energy future. Schneider Electric’s commitment to securing our pipelines ensures operational efficiency and the protection of our economic strength.”