Specifically, the European gas network is a crucial part of EU's energy needs and its plans on reducing carbon emissions according to the Paris Agreement. Up to now, it holds the 22% of the energy usage and with the growth of power-to-gas technologies initiatives, it is expected to grow.
Moreover, the gas network is complex and interconnected, as it crosses borders, uses carious different transportation pipelines and is served by numerous diverse storage arrangements. Thus, its complexity makes it a relevant example of Critical Infrastructure (CI) vulnerable to disruption by natural disasters, accidents, cyber-attacks, malicious behaviour, criminal activity or terrorism.
The security and resilience of EU's gas network is crucial, given the interconnected nature of infrastructure and possible cascading effects.
Concerning physical threats, EGIG (European Gas pipeline Incident data Group) reported a total of 1366 incidents from 1970-2016, the leading causes being Third Party Interference (TPI), such as ground works, malicious acts and sabotages, and ground movements.
Although cyber attacks have been less, their impact will be devastating, keeping in mind attacks as Night Dragon and Shamoon, that have caused financial damage to oil and gas companies.
In line with the European Energy Security Strategy, the European Programme for European Critical Infrastructure Protection (EPCIP), the EU's reliance on gas imports and the EU Regulation 2017/1938 on Security of Gas Supply, the project focuses on the 140.000km of the European gas network covering the entire value chain from production to distribution, providing methodologies, tools, and guidelines to secure existing and incoming installations and make them resilient to cyber-physical threats.
In near future, the project will define a blueprint on how critical gas infrastructure should be planned, designed, built, operated, and maintained to cope with cyber-physical security threats. This will be a baseline on defining a High-Level Reference Architecture (HLRA), that will be used as guideline for adapting, customizing, integrating technological components that will be finally demonstrated in a set of Business Cases.
The project boasts a multidisciplinary consortium of 21 international partners coordinated by Clemente Fuggini - Manager for Security & Resilience of Critical Infrastructure within RINA Corporate Research & Development.
It is made up of integrated energy company (ENI S.p.A.), gas corporation (Public Gas Corporation of Greece S.A), TSO – Transmission system operator (AB Amber Grid), and DSO-Distribution system operator (Attiki Natural Gas Distribution Company S.A.), managing all together +15000km of pipelines; technology providers active in the field of Security and Critical Infrastructure (Leonardo S.p.A., Guardtime A.S., Elbit Systems Ltd., WINGS ICT Solutions, IDEMIA Identity & Security Germany AG, EXUS, GAP Analysis S.A., Innov-Acts Ltd., and Disaster Management, Advice and Training Consulting KG), research and academic institutions in Energy, Security and Resilience Engineering (Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung, Kentro Meleton Asfaleias, Joint Research Centre Ispra, Riga Technical University, Technologická platforma Energetická bezpečnost ČR), to support the project implementation. Finally, the Stakeholder Platform (SP), led by Agenzia per la Promozione della Ricerca Europea, will provide advice to secure a long-lasting diffusion of the project outcomes, beyond the project perimeter as well.