A February 2016 Report from the Auditor General of Alberta
raises concerns about the fact that neither the Alberta Energy
Regulator (AER) nor the Alberta Department of Energy (Energy
Alberta) have assessed the threats, risks and impacts to industrial
control systems (ICS) used by participants in the oil and gas
industries. As explained in the Report, ICS are used by industry participants
to control and monitor important industrial processes used to
produce and safely deliver energy products to market. For example,
ICS are used to control pumps and valves, and detect leaks in
pipeline operations. As noted by the Auditor General, if ICS in the
oil and gas industries are not secure, they can be misused to cause
damage to critical infrastructure, resulting in damage to Albertans
or the environment.
The Auditor General's Report highlights that IT security standards
have been created for ICS in the electricity distribution and
transmission industry in Alberta. These standards, which will be
mandatory in September 2017, were approved by the Alberta Utilities
Commission (AUC) in a recent Application from the Alberta Electric System
Operator (AESO) for approval of 11 recommended new Critical
Infrastructure Protection (CIP) reliability standards. The AUC
approved the new CIP standards (adopted from similar standards in
the United States) in a September 2015 Decision.
The Auditor General has recommended that Energy Alberta and AER
work together to determine whether assessment of threats risks and
impacts to ICS in the oil and gas industries would benefit Alberta.
In response (as described here), the Alberta Minister of Energy has
indicated that meetings will be convened with regulators to other
areas of government to determine next steps to ensure that the
energy industry remains as protected as possible from cyberattacks.
Presumably, this will then lead to meetings and consultations with
industry participants to determine the best course of action.
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In Bank of Montreal v Bumper Development Corporation Ltd, 2016 ABQB 363, the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench enforced the "immediate replacement" provision in the Canadian Association of Petroleum Landmen 2007 Operating Procedure...
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