Protect physical, digital propane infrastructure

February 27, 2023 By    
Image: KanawatTH/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Image: KanawatTH/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

The threats to domestic energy infrastructure are numerous and varied.

These threats include:

  • Malicious cyber and digital crimes (e.g., hacking, data leaks, ransomware).
  • Domestic or foreign sabotage on physical structures (e.g., electricity network, energy pipelines, refineries and energy storage facilities).
  • Natural disasters like hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes and earthquakes.

The propane industry can face threats at different levels of the supply chain, according to Eric Sears, manager of state association relations at the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA).

“We saw evidence of this with the Colonial Pipeline shutdown in May 2021,” he says. “While the Colonial Pipeline shutdown did not affect the propane supply, a similar attack on a petroleum pipeline that transports propane could severely disrupt the movement of our fuel and cause logistical headaches, especially if this occurred during winter when demand is high.”

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NPGA encourages propane marketers and suppliers to follow the guidelines set forth by their local jurisdictions, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

A discussion with a company’s insurance carrier or with companies specializing in helping marketers design security plans also can be helpful.

“NPGA recommends working with an expert to write and review your security plan,” says Sears. “Some of these experts are members of NPGA and are readily available.”

Beyond intentional sabotage or malicious actions, adds Sears, natural disasters are the most common threat to the propane industry.

“Business continuity plans” and “ready business toolkits” can help a propane marketer recover, especially after a natural disaster, says Sears.

A business continuity plan helps the company continue its operations quickly and safely. Ready business toolkits are guides on how to prepare and respond to natural disasters. More information is available at

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