Vulnerability of Energy Infrastructure to intentional attacks - The interplay of resource, conflict and security
- Conference Paper
Attacks against critical energy infrastructures have recently become an increasingly important factor in energy security discussions. Studies examining such threats often focus on particular aspects like terrorist threats or resource conflicts. Therefore, the recently established Energy Infrastructure Attack Database (EIAD) has a much broader scope by considering attacks towards energy infrastructures that are carried out by a broad range of Violent Non-State Actors (VNSAs). The current study analyzed energy infrastructure attacks with regard to their spatial and temporal clustering patterns to identify and describe differences between countries as well as temporal shifts within a specific country. In this way the observed patterns could be conceptualized as a type of tactical contagion.This paper presents an analysis of EIAD, which contains about 8600 entries of intentional attacks world-wide for the period 1980–2011. In this study we found that “linear infrastructures” such as transmission lines and pipelines are predominantly targeted because they often run through rather remote areas and are thus difficult to protect compared to “point” sources (e.g. refineries, power plants). Geo-referencing of EIAD data allowed for identifying distinct country/region hotspots, which we conceptualize as attack clusters. Furthermore, the temporal patterns and underlying mechanisms (e.g. tactical contagion) creating these clusters were analyzed. In summary, EIAD offers a comprehensive basis for the quantitative evaluation of energy infrastructure attacks by VNSAs, and provides decision and policy makers with objective facts and recommendations, which are an essential component for contemporary debates on energy security. Show more
Book titleSafety and Reliability: Methodology and Applications
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Is part of: https://doi.org/10.1201/b17399
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