Texas Official Raises Terror Alarm over Border Access to Pipelines

The federal government’s failure to secure the Texas-Mexico border continues to put critical oil and gas infrastructure in the state at risk, Texas Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter said in a Nov. 16 letter to the Homeland Security Department.

Citing several news articles, Porter said ISIS has attacked against oil and gas pipelines in the Middle East, and to do so in Texas could be part of the terror group’s plans. In 2013, the Yemeni oil minister said the destruction resulted in almost $1 billion in lost revenue. Porter was echoing sentiments he expressed in a letter last year to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

“I shudder to think what these terrorists would do to the U.S., when they are willing to launch these kinds of attacks against their own countries,” he said in the letter. “Given the fact that Texas accounts for nearly 40 (percent) of U.S. crude oil and almost 30 (percent) of our country’s natural gas, events like this could have potentially devastating impact on our state and national economies.”

In addressing his more recent correspondence to Homeland Security, Porter said he wants the department to pressure the White House and Border Protection to “take these concerns seriously, instead of waiting until it is too late.”

The Railroad Commission in Texas is charged with regulating the state’s oil and gas industry, which includes inspecting facilities and infrastructure for safety.

An award-winning journalist, Deon has reported on energy, business and politics for almost 20 years. Email Deon at deon.daugherty@rigzone.com


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Steve Budden | Nov. 17, 2015
I am a bit surprised at comments such as this. Effective pipeline operators have emergency plans, specialist tools, skilled personnel, pre-tested pipe, etc for pipeline emergency repairs. Evidence from many areas of the world show that where pipelines have been damaged by insurrection et al, that effective repairs can be made in days (the ITP in Iraq is a good example). Using Yemen is not necessarily a valid example as the resources above are not readily available.

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