IT Systems Are Just as Important to Flow of Oil as Straits of Hormuz

When war against Iran is cautioned against, the choking off of oil traffic through the Straits of Hormuz is often cited. But another portal through which oil passes is also vulnerable. At Reuters, Daniel Fineren quotes Stephan Klein, vice president of oil and gas operations in the Middle East and North Africa for business application software developer SAP.

“We know that the Straits of Hormuz are of strategic importance to the world. …What about the approximately 80 million barrels that are processed through IT systems?”

Fineren explains.

Computers control nearly all the world’s energy production and distribution in systems that are increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks that could put cutting-edge fuel production technology in rival company hands.

Klein elaborates on hackers.

“If they could bring down one of the big players in the oil and gas market you can imagine what this will do for the oil price — it would blow the market.”

Furthermore, writes Fineren, quoting an oil industry, IT security expert:

Hackers could finance their operations by using options markets to bet on the price movements caused by disruptions.

Yet another critical reason for the earth to transition to renewable energy.