Potential Threats to Offshore Platforms

by Brian Michael Jenkins

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Abstract

Increasingly spectacular acts of terrorism have led to growing concern that terrorists will move beyond the symbols of society and directly attack its technological and industrial targets, including offshore oil platforms. This paper, prepared for inclusion in Vol. 8 of TVI Report and in the World Air and Seaport Defence and Security Handbook for 1989, reviews past threats and incidents that have occurred at offshore platforms. It then examines the analogous threats and incidents that have been directed against the oil and gas industries. Using this information, the author constructs a theoretical portrait of potential adversaries and the potential actions they might take against offshore platforms. The history of criminal activity involving oil platforms supports an assessment that the threat is not high, and this assessment is reflected in current levels of security.

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