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Are your company’s business systems connected in any way to the industrial control systems (ICS), including Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), which are used to manage the company’s critical infrastructure? If they are, and the best guess is they are, then the ICS/SCADA could be vulnerable to cyberattacks in addition to the business side of the networks.

The Pilgrim Pipeline project has the potential to do more good for the Northeast than just bolstering the flow of refined products and crude between New York Harbor and Albany, NY - it could also remove 6 billion gallons of petroleum a year from barges on the Hudson River.

SCADA systems provide combinations of field devices, communications infrastructure and software integrated into a system that provides for safe and reliable operation of remote facilities.

Developing new natural gas pipeline capacity in the Northeast isn’t easy. Environmental rules are tough, local residents are well-organized, and - in New England in particular - the electricity market structure is not, shall we say, pipeline development-friendly.

In November, President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping surprised the world by agreeing in principle to targets for carbon dioxide emissions in a symbolic effort to address climate change. This is a pact of historic magnitude that recognizes a need for the world’s two largest emitters – both longstanding antagonists – to reduce future release of greenhouse gas. But aside from a handshake and a promise, what will actually come from this mutual recognition?

Financial services firms may have a slight edge in security readiness over their energy sector counterparts, but not by much. These two industries – highly targeted by cybercriminals – must move quickly to address their cybersecurity deficiencies and shore up their defenses against advanced malware threats.

In recent years, there have been a number of high-profile, advanced malware threats that targeted or attacked the energy sector such as Dragonfly, Stuxnet, Flame and Shamoon. And while these threats need to be taken into account when analyzing and preparing for potential security risks, they actually only account for a low number of overall threat sources.

ExxonMobil’s 2015 energy forecast posits natural gas as the fuel with the most demand growth between now and 2040, overtaking coal as the second most popular energy source with a 65% gain vs. its 2010 levels. By the end of the period, the report predicted more than 125 Bcf/d will be shipped by LNG or inter-regional pipeline.

A federal approval for construction of a major natural gas pipeline that will ship supplies from the Marcellus to underserved New England and the Northeast markets closed out 2014 with a reminder to the industry of good things to come.

Natural gas production and pipeline construction thrive on predictability. They depend on reliably meeting milestones and deadlines in order to connect new sources of energy into supply lines.

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