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Cablegate: Critical Infrastructure Work Progresses in Riyadh

VZCZCXRO1560
PP RUEHDE RUEHDIR
DE RUEHRH #1114/01 2010943
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 190943Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY RIYADH
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8818
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
INFO RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHHH/OPEC COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEAHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY 0229
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
RHRMAKS/COMUSNAVCENT PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 RIYADH 001114

SIPDIS

P FOR U/S WBURNS
NEA FOR DAS GGRAY
DEPT OF ENERGY PASS TO A/S KKOLEVAR, MWILLIAMSON, GPERSON,
AND JHART
S/CT FOR GFEIERSTEIN, SUSAN BURK, GAIL ROBERTSON, AND
BAVERILL
DS/ATA FOR KMALOY
TREASURY PASS TO A/S CLOWERY
DHS PASS TO TWARRICK AND DGRANT
CIA PASS TO TCOYNE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/19/2018
TAGS: KCIP EPET ENERG PTER ASEC SA
SUBJECT: CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE WORK PROGRESSES IN RIYADH

REF: SECSTATE 70793

Classified By: DCM Michael Gfoeller for
reasons 1.4 (b) (c) and (d).

1. (U) This cable has been cleared by
DOE A/S Kevin Kolevar.

2. (S) During a July 8 visit to Riyadh, DOE A/S Kevin
Kolevar met with Ministry of Interior representatives
Joint Working Group (JWG) on Critical Infrastructure
Protection (CIP) Co-Chair Dr. Saud A-Semari and Dr.
Khalid Al-Ageel, Manager, High Commission on Industrial
Security. The U.S. JWG Co-Chair Economic Counselor
Robert Murphy participated, as did a delegation from
DOE and the Embassy. Major outcomes of the
discussions included:

---------------------------------
Abqaiq Assessment to Move Forward
----------------------------------

3. (S) Dr. Al-Semari told us the Saudis are
now ready to move forward with a complete
Vulnerability Assessment (VA) of Saudi Aramco's
Abqaiq Plants. We are scheduling a visit by DOE
and Sandia Lab personnel for early August to
conduct the VA. This is a key win for the Joint
Working Group. DOE's Office of Electricity
Delivery and Energy Reliability is able to finance
the VA, as we meanwhile work to finalize procedures
for future Saudi financing of bilateral CIP efforts
under the May 2008 Technical Cooperation Agreement
signed by Secretary Rice.

--Background to Abqaiq Plants: Abqaiq is the
world's single largest petroleum processing
and de-sulphurization facility. About 70% of
Saudi crude production passes through Abqaiq
for processing. The facility is critical to
the world's petroleum markets. It has a through
-put capacity of 7 million-plus barrel per day
(bpd) capacity, of which 6.3 mbpd are routinely
utilized.

--The VA is an in-depth, technical review of
the facility's operational and security systems.
The VA includes a 2-week on-site data collection
and discussion period, followed by a month-long
data analysis period. A Sandia National Labs
team will analyze Abqaiq data utilizing its VA
computer models. The Saudi MOI would receive VA
results and recommendations within about one month
after completion of the on-site data collection.
JWG members regard successful completion of the VA
as one of our highest priorities, and a template
for facility-based work in the future.

--We are particularly concerned to identify Abqaiq
components which were custom-manufactured several
decades ago, in the 1970s, and for which Saudi
Aramco may have no replacements or spare parts.
Such single-point failures would be of grave concern.
Saudi Aramco personnel have not been able to provide
a clear picture of these vulnerabilities during past
short visits to Abqaiq by JWG personnel. An in-depth
analysis of Abqaiq's engineering plans and drawings,
along with extended access to and discussion with
key technical personnel, are required to better
understand the plant's specific vulnerabilities.

--The VA also will help us to better advise the
MOI and Saudi Aramco on how to design security
systems to protect Abqaiq, and for contingency
planning to prepare for any possible attack on
the facility. Such planning would allow Saudi
Aramco and the MOI to better mitigate long-term
damage, ensure maximum possible continuity of
operations, and respond and recover as
swiftly as possible.

--------------------------------------------- -
MOI Requests Threat Warning System Assistance
--------------------------------------------- -

4. (C) The MOI had expressed an interest in
adopting a national threat warning system, and
had requested a briefing on systems in use in
the U.S. During the July 8 meeting, DOE
Infrastructure System Analyst VanderMey therefore
presented on U.S. threat warning systems,
including DHS's Homeland Security Advisory
System and the U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Security
System (MARSEC). Our MOI interlocutors were
particularly impressed to learn how the USG works
with industry in implementing the threat warning
system, sharing information on an as-needed basis,
and even sponsoring some industry personnel for
security clearances so that information could be
better shared. The group also discussed the
utility of restricting a specific threat warning
to a given region, city, or industrial sector.

5. (C) Dr. Saud-Al Semari requested the USG make
available one employee who is familiar with the U.S.
threat warning systems for a 6-12 month period to
assist the MOI in implementing a similar system
for Saudi Arabia. A/S Kolevar stated that he
believed he could work with DHS or DOE
to make such a person available, although
perhaps for a shorter, more focused period
of time.

--------------------------------------
MOI Proposes Intelligence Liaison
Offices with Key Sectoral Ministries
--------------------------------------

6. (S) Dr. Al Semari then steered the
discussion towards how the USG structured
its intelligence-sharing and liaison
functions for agencies such as DHS and
DOE. A/S Kolevar explained that the Department
of Energy had its own intelligence division,
but that it largely played a liaison role with
the larger intelligence services. He, Economic
Counselor Murphy, and Energy Analyst Burke also
explored the frequent practice of seconding
personnel between departments, offices, and
functions to allow for better intelligence sharing.

7. (S) Dr. Al-Semari stated it would be useful
for the MOI to establish a liaison office within
MOI to better communicate with key sectoral ministries
such as the Ministry of Petroleum (MinPet) and
Transportation,or alternately, seek to establish
liaison offices within these ministries. He noted
that while the High Commission on Industrial Security
(which oversees security and safety issues at
parastatals such as Saudi Aramco and SABIC) had
deepened ties with industry, the MOI still has no
clear mechanism for working easily with other
ministries. Dr. Al Semari concurred with Econ Off
that having liaison personnel imbedded in
a ministry would establish a more effective, on-going
relationship, which could help ensure key counterpart
ministers address security issues with appropriate
understanding and seriousness.

8. (SBU) Regarding reftel A, Economic Counselor
Robert Murphy hand-delivered the letter from
U/S Burns to HRH Assistant Minister of Interior
for Security Affairs Prince Mohammed bin Nayif
on July 7. 2

--------
Comment
--------

9. (C) The Mission was pleased -- on two levels
-- to hear Dr. Al-Semari initiate the idea of
establishing an MOI intelligence liaison to improve
communication with other ministries. First, it will
help the MOI function and communicate better with
other key ministries who require security
information to address their sector's challenges.
Additionally, this is the first time within the JWG
that the MOI has proposed a systemic change to
improve its communication with other organizations.
We have spent the last two years working closely with
the MOI, encouraging them to coordinate and communicate
with other parts of the government and industry on
security issues. The MOI now appears to be thinking
deeply and independently about how to apply these
lessons to its own environment in a manner appropriate
to Saudi norms. This is a small but we hope
significant harbinger of progress to come.

FRAKER

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