Refineries are large assets requiring massive capital influx are long gestation periods for successful construction. With significant political unrest surrounding the hydrocarbon sector, safeguarding of one’s assets is of the utmost interest. Albeit in the downstream segment, refineries are a major, if not the most important part of the hydrocarbons value chain. Crippling a nation’s refinery infrastructure can result in dire consequences. Needless to say, oil and gas security solutions are becoming increasingly relevant in the hydrocarbons sector. Currently, threats are not only limited to physical ones. In an era of technology, cyber threats are equally dangerous and may disbalance the operations of a refinery. Refinery security solutions and services are those which successfully protect a refinery owner from both physical and cyber threats. With refinery capacity additions planned in certain regions of the world, the refinery security market is likely to grow at moderate levels in the future.
The future of the refining sector currently is still uncertain. The industry has historically suffered from overcapacity, with large refinery closures being observed in certain countries. However with a rapidly growing demand for refined petroleum products, the refinery segment is likely to make a significant comeback within the forecast period. One of the major driving factors for the refinery security is the increasing government imposed security compliance regulations. This is further accentuated by security threats from terrorist organizations and other cyber criminals. The market for refinery security is likely to grow rapidly within the forecast horizon. This will provide a distinct opportunity of companies dealing in refinery security solutions to acquire a larger market share in the future. On the basis of security type, the refinery security market can be broadly segmented physical security and cyber security. Some of the cyber security solutions being provided include anti viruses, firewalls, and secure wired connections and secure wireless connections.
The physical security aspect generally encompasses the refinery complex security solutions. These can include building management systems and peripheral security solutions. Business continuity and disaster recovery systems are also gaining increasing momentum in the refinery security market. Refinery shutdowns or any other halt in operations can result in monumental financial losses for refinery owners. Also refineries use crude oil as a raw material which results in significant inbound crude oil movements to the refinery. All of these factors significantly increase the requirement for refinery security solutions. In terms of refinery security services the market can be further sub-segmented on a broader scope. One of the major services being provided by refinery security service providers includes system integration and design. Other services include consultation services, which are increasingly becoming important in the refinery security market.
This is because consultation services provide clear directives and guidelines regarding the optimal installation and adoption of refinery security solutions, which generates maximum benefit to the refinery. The growth of the refinery security market is tied strongly to the growth of the crude oil upstream sector and the refinery sector. The refinery sector is currently suffering from overcapacity. Amidst the economic slowdown in Europe, refinery shutdowns have also been observed in the regions. However newer refinery capacity installations have been planned in the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Russia. The Greenfield refineries of the Middle-East and Asia-Pacific have high complexity indexes and were very expensive to construct. Post commissioning of these refineries, refinery security solutions are likely to be required.
Some of the major companies in the refinery security market include ABB Ltd., Siemens AG, Lockheed Martin and CISCO among others.
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