Join or Sign in

Register for your free asmag.com membership or if you are already a member,
sign in using your preferred method below.

To check your latest product inquiries, manage newsletter preference, update personal / company profile, or download member-exclusive reports, log in to your account now!
Login asmag.comMember Registration

Security for fracking: a new opportunity for solution providers

Security for fracking: a new opportunity for solution providers
After its success in the U.S., fracking is becoming increasingly popular in other parts of the world, despite some opposition. In spite of the lower oil prices, there has been no major move to cut down shale oil production, which points towards a possible increase in security demand from this market. 

Amit Mattaria, President and CEO at Opgal Optronic Industries, pointed out that fracking infrastructure are extremely sensitive as any sort of damage to the facilities can have catastrophic results. Opgal’s products include gas leak detection cameras that are classified and certified for use in Class I Div 2 hazardous environments. 

“During the fracking process, there is the danger of earth tremors or landslides and our focus lies on providing security as well as safety solutions,” Mattaria said. “We address security issues by offering around-the-clock protection for these facilities through our wide range of fixed or PTZ thermal camera systems. Our customization capabilities allow for the development of optimal security solutions for facilities, operating effectively at any time of the day or night and in any weather conditions.”    

Will Hamilton, Sr. Account Manager at Pelco by Schneider Electric, believes the fracking boom in the U.S. has seen infrastructure change over the years, as oil companies evolve and attempt to implement advanced video technologies in their operations. 

“A new ancillary industry in these areas is Saltwater Disposal Wells (SWDs),” Hamilton said. “The process of fracking requires proprietary mixtures of liquid to be used during the drilling and then disposed of in a safe manner. Through innovative video solutions, companies are able to design these facilities as completely unmanned operations. This greatly reduces the operational expenses of these sites allowing companies to still produce a profit even though prices are being compresses.” 

Others point out that while the solutions that are offered for fracking infrastructure are the same as those in traditional oil and gas sector, the difference lies in their application.


Steven Williams, Manager of Business Development in the Americas at Synectics said security is very much the secondary function in this segment, as monitoring processes and environmental impact gets priority. In fact, in many developments, specialist surveillance cameras are used for the latter alone. 

“Thermal imaging, for example, is particularly useful for detecting potential leakage (and ground seepage),” Williams said. “High definition images that offer superior quality even with long-range zoom are also beneficial for a market that is extremely conscious of safety and impact on immediate surroundings. That’s not to say security isn’t a factor of course. Integration with access control and intruder detection systems is important and remains a vital requirement for fracking projects.” 

Increasing geopolitical concerns like those seen in the South China Sea, Ukraine, North Africa and rising global terrorism concerns has prompted more countries to aim for self-reliance in energy consumption. To this end, many view shale oil as the answer. China, for instance, aims to produce 23 times the current output in five years. 

Such plans reiterate the security industry’s opportunity in this sector. In the coming years, more investment can be expected in this line, and more integrated solutions that fulfill requirements in the vertical.


Share to:
Comments ( 0 )