Collaboration key to finding security solutions for Africa’s oil and gas industry


Security continues to be one of the oil and gas industry’s key concerns, and suppliers to this industry have an important role to play in helping the industry limit security risks, improve security measures and find solutions to security challenges.

This is the view of Doug Byers, Nautic Africa’s Business Development Manager, who recently returned from the international Corporate Security Forum (CSF) conference, held in London at the end of October 2014.

He says closer collaboration between the heads of security of oil and gas companies and suppliers to the industry will go a long way in minimising the security challenges facing the industry.

“The heads of security of companies such as Shell Nigeria, Subsea7, Tidewater, Haliburton and Statoil work under extremely challenging conditions and have an enormous responsibility to ensure the safety of staff, subcontractors and assets, while focusing on, and improving, issues such as safety awareness, processes and measures.

“Attending the conference gave us the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the security challenges facing these security executives, as well as their numerous responsibilities which go beyond maritime security to include security in others areas such as IT, transport and local communities, to name but a few.”

Byers says the opportunity to discuss real-life case studies with these security executives was particularly invaluable.

“For example, during the conference we received a report of a vessel hijacking on the West Coast of Africa. The pirates had been monitoring vessels leaving the harbour, and presumably had an onshore contact providing them with intelligence about potential targets. The pirates struck as soon as the vessel became isolated in open water, robbing the crew and taking a hostage.

“The discussion at the conference very quickly turned to how this incident could have been avoided and how important it is to not only have the right processes and people in place, but also the right ‘tools’ to deal with these challenges. These ‘tools’ include having high-speed and ballistic-protected vessels – such as Nautic’s Sentinel range – which provide a safe haven against small arms fire and have the ability to outrun the pirates.”

Byers says in addition to the valuable insights gained, the CSF – which focused on the current pressing security challenges facing the oil and gas industry – also provided a wonderful platform for sharing information on Nautic’s specialised patrol and vessels, which have been purpose-built for the oil and gas market.