Search

 

Cablegate: Critical Infrastructure Protection In

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 OTTAWA 000334

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

STATE FOR EB/TPP/BTA EB/ESC/ISC (MCMANUS AND ERVITI),
WHA/CAN (MASON AND RUNNING), OES/EGC (MIOTKE AND
DEROSA), D/HS (OPTICAN) AND PM (MARKOFF)

HOMELAND SECURITY FOR EPR (BROWN)

DOE FOR INT'L AND POLICY (A/S BAILEY) AND IE-141 (DEUTSCH)

DOE PASS FERC FOR KELLY AND LEKANG

DOT FOR OFFICE OF PIPELINE SAFETY

COMMERCE FOR 4320/MAC/WH/ON/OIA/BENDER

PARIS FOR IEA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EPET ETRD EINV CA
SUBJECT: CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE PROTECTION IN
CANADA'S OIL AND GAS PIPELINE NETWORK

SUMMARY/INTRODUCTION
--------------------

1. (U) This message is sensitive, but unclassified. Please
handle accordingly.

2. (U) This message was prepared with assistance from
Amconsul Calgary.

3. (U) Critical infrastructure protection is among the areas
listed for bilateral action in the Ridge-Manley Smart Border
plan. Canada is the United States' largest foreign supplier
of energy, supplying over 15 percent of U.S. natural gas
consumption and about 10 percent of U.S. consumption of oil
and oil products. After two decades of strong expansion,
Canada's energy pipeline industry expects to see on the
order of US$6 billion in additional new facilities
constructed in the coming decade.

4. (U) This industry appears very well prepared to respond
to accidents/attacks at its facilities. Time frames for
pipeline firms' "patch and repair" operations are from a few
hours to a few days. The built-in redundancy of pipeline
systems (multiple pipes, storage facilities, interconnects,
back-up compressors) mean that actual disruptions of supply
(at least beyond the local level or for short periods) are
considered unlikely.

5. (SBU) While the incidence of accidental events has been
reduced to a very low level, pipeline industry security
experts are less confident of their ability to anticipate or
prevent deliberate attacks. It is in this area that they
are most receptive to government support - and most
interested in clear, timely information flow. Given their
degree of professional competence and accountability, and
since they provide information "up" to government whenever
asked, they want to share more fully in the flow of
information "down" from federal level security agencies.
One provincial government security official said it has been
a "major achievement" to get the RCMP (federal police) to
allow even the unclassified versions of threat assessments
to be distributed to selected private sector players. END
SUMMARY

INDUSTRY STRUCTURE
------------------

6. (U) Most of Canada's oil and gas pipeline network
originates in the province of Alberta (with fingers into
British Columbia, Saskatchewan and the Northwest
Territories) and transports products southward and/or
eastward to the United States and central/eastern Canada.
The industry is collectively represented by the Canadian
Energy Pipeline Association (cepa.com), based in Calgary.
Mission economic staff interviewed industry and government
representatives on critical infrastructure protection issues
in Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton during January 2003.

7. (U) The following two firms respectively claim to operate
the world's longest natural gas and oil pipeline systems.

TRANSCANADA PIPELINES LIMITED (transcanada.com) operates the
largest portion of the natural gas system. From southern
Alberta it exports gas to the Pacific Gas Transmission
Company, the Montana Power Company, and the Alliance
Pipeline (which runs southeast through Iowa and Illinois).
Its "Canadian mainline" (actually a group of parallel lines)
carries gas eastward across Saskatchewan and Manitoba to the
Winnipeg area, where the line splits into a U.S. portion
(continuing across Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan) and a
Canadian portion (continuing across Ontario to Montreal,
Toronto and other urban areas).

ENBRIDGE PIPELINES INC. (enbridge.com) operates key oil and
oil products pipelines. Its main crude oil line runs from
Edmonton (mid-Alberta) southeastward to Wisconsin, where the
line divides to pass both north and south of Lake Michigan.
This system serves key oil storage and
refinery/petrochemicals complexes in Edmonton, Sarnia
(Ontario) and Montreal (Quebec) as well as in the United
States.

PAST INCIDENTS WERE ACCIDENTAL
------------------------------

8. (U) Emergency planning necessarily makes heavy use of the
analysis of past incidents. However, in Canada's pipeline
industry, past incidents have been due to material failures
- notably stress corrosion cracking (SCC) in pipe walls and
disintegration of blades in compressor turbines. The
frequency of these problems has been systematically reduced
through innovation, inspection and maintenance but they
still occur, and there are older facilities in use which may
be at higher risk. On the positive side, these older
facilities represent part of the built-in redundancy which
the system uses to continue service when a failure occurs.

PIPELINE FIRMS LEAD ON-THE-GROUND RESPONSE
------------------------------------------

9. (SBU) Most pipeline facilities are buried, and the force
of an explosion/rupture tends to go upward, so damage seldom
extends to neighboring pipes. Automatic "block valves"
immediately shut off flow through the ruptured segment(s).
Neighboring facilities are also shut off until they can be
inspected (operating them at very low pressure is also an
option).

10. (SBU) Pipeline firms say they maintain close
relationships with landowners, municipalities, and volunteer
fire departments along their routes in order to enhance both
monitoring of the pipeline, and emergency response. Company
employees help to train local firefighters, and these two
groups in combination are the "first responders" to pipeline
emergencies.

11. (SBU) Typical time to patch a pipeline rupture is one to
two days and typical time for restoration of full service is
three to four days. Due to system redundancy and storage,
service to end users is unlikely to be affected in the
meanwhile. If necessary, a "bypass" around a damaged
segment can be built in about four days. If a compressor is
affected, a temporary replacement can be moved and installed
in a day or two, though permanent replacement takes much
longer -- one to two years -- due to long delivery times
from the manufacturers (GE and Rolls-Royce).

PREVENTION/MITIGATION
---------------------

12. (SBU) While a few politically motivated attacks on oil
and gas facilities have occurred, neither of the major
pipeline systems has significant experience of being
deliberately attacked. Many of their monitoring activities
- such as "flying the line" by helicopter at low altitude
and "sniffing" for leaks - are oriented toward accidental
events. With facilities crossing thousands of miles in very
remote areas, corporate security experts admit that there is
little they can do to protect all this pipe from deliberate
sabotage. Obvious key points (such as compressors, storage
facilities, and refineries where an attack could be more
disruptive) fortunately are exceptions which can be
protected to some degree by conventional security methods.

PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT ROLE: "SECURITY TEMPLATES"
--------------------------------------------- ----
13. (U) The Alberta provincial government requires each of
311 municipalities to identify a full-time employee as
Director of Disaster Services. This employee is empowered
to declare a state of local emergency, can conscript local
resources and labor, and is partially protected from
litigation arising from actions taken during a state of
emergency.

14. (SBU) Alberta's "Critical Infrastructure Protection
Plan" is based in part on methods developed by the American
Petroleum Institute, and has recently been applied to ten
key industries, beginning with oil. Industry and government
worked together to classify facilities by level of
"criticality." Information such as the list of participants
in this process and the list of facilities determined
"critical" is not made public. Provincial Disaster Services
staff visit each of these facilities, collect contact
information, and make recommendations based on "security
templates."

15. (SBU) Levels of "alert" (none, low, medium, high,
imminent) are also determined from time to time, based on
threat assessments received from federal agencies. The
"security template" applied to each facility depends on that
facility's combination of criticality and threat level, and
is based on "best practices." Provincial government
officials say that their recommendations represent "minimum
expectations" and that operators are driven by insurance
concerns to meet or exceed these standards.

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ROLE: THREAT ASSESSMENTS
--------------------------------------------

16. (SBU) Observers and security officials unanimously agree
that the GOC's two-year-old Office of Critical
Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness
(OCIPEP) is not as far advanced as Alberta Disaster Services
in its state of readiness, nor in its close ties to
industry. OCIPEP relies on line departments such as Natural
Resources Canada (NRCan) to liaise with industry. Mission
will examine OCIPEP's broader role and functions in coming
months.

17. (SBU) From the perspective of industry and
local/provincial security officials, the GOC's crucial role
is as the source (or at least the conduit) for intelligence
information on which "declarations of alert" must be based.
Apart from OCIPEP, key agencies here are the Canadian
Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Royal Canadian
Mounted Police (RCMP - Canada's federal police service).
Our contacts expressed various uncertainties and
dissatisfactions surrounding such intelligence. For
example:

-- What intelligence do RCMP and CSIS want from the private
sector and the public? One industry leader complained, "We
give the police lots of information and they tell us
nothing." Potential suppliers of information need to know
whether or not what they provided in the past was considered
useful. (COMMENT: While our contacts were careful not to
criticize the GOC, we sensed that they would like to be
reassured about the effectiveness of federal agencies, i.e.
whether information reaches analysts and is duly
incorporated into threat assessments, and whether different
parts of the GOC are sharing information with each other.
END COMMENT).

-- How much detail will be disseminated? Currently, RCMP
and CSIS prepare both classified and unclassified versions
of threat assessments; only the latter is shared with
provincial governments and industry representatives. Also,
in their support of intelligence gathering, firms provide
RCMP and CSIS with commercially sensitive information from
time to time, and they do not want such information re-
appearing in their competitors' offices.

-- How often will threat assessments be issued? This is
currently undetermined. Our contacts opined that they
should be issued regularly, even if unchanged, in order to
remind users of their existence.

-- How widely will threat assessments be disseminated? A
provincial government security official (who is a former
RCMP officer) said it was a "major achievement" to persuade
the RCMP to allow even unclassified versions of threat
assessments to be shared with industry security officials
(rather than only government agencies).

-- Who bears responsibility for formally declaring states of
alert? This raises real issues of legal liability.
According to our contacts in the Alberta government, the
Solicitor General of Alberta (the senior provincial law
enforcement officer) currently holds this responsibility
(despite having limited access to intelligence information)
and no office in the GOC will make a commitment to this
function.

RELATIONSHIPS WITH USG
----------------------

18. (SBU) Among our contacts, mentions of dealings with the
USG on safety/security matters were strongly positive. The
U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and
Department of Transportation (DOT) investigate pipeline
accidents which occur within the U.S., where both Enbridge
and TransCanada have many facilities. In mid-2002 a rupture
in Minnesota led to NTSB investigators paying an extended
visit to Enbridge corporate headquarters in Edmonton. The
report is still pending, but according to Enbridge the firm
was commended for their quick response to the incident.

19. (SBU) Industry security officials say they receive
regular notices from the FBI's National Infrastructure
Protection Center. One industry association leader told us
his organization has a "very valuable relationship with the
FBI" and that "we get better information from the FBI than
from the RCMP." Our contacts also said they receive useful
security-related information from the U.S. Department of
Energy's Office of Energy Assurance and also from the
American Petroleum Institute.

COMMENT
-------

20. (SBU) The federal Government of Canada's Office of
Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency
Preparedness (OCIPEP) is relatively new and is still
establishing itself in many areas of its mandate. While
Mission staff are developing our relationship with and
understanding of OCIPEP, we see great value in continuing to
foster close cooperation with Provincial government
authorities and private sector entities, such as the major
pipeline and energy firms, who are now and will likely
remain the first responders in an emergency.

CELLUCCI

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


Myanmar: UN Condemns Escalating Violence In Deadliest Day Of Protests So Far

In response to the killing of at least 18 protesters demonstrating against Myanmar’s military coup, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) on Sunday together with the UN chief, strongly condemned the “escalating violence” and called for an immediate end to the use of force... More>>

Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs


UNFCCC: Greater Climate Ambition Urged As Initial NDC Synthesis Report Is Published

UN Climate Change today published the Initial NDC Synthesis Report, showing nations must redouble efforts and submit stronger, more ambitious national climate action plans in 2021 if they’re to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise by 2°C—ideally 1.5°C—by the end of the century... More>>


2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>


Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at webtv.un.org UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>