Offshore rigs terrorist targets?

Houston Chronicle:
Although the Coast Guard aims to inspect oil and gas platforms and other offshore energy facilities once every year, only about a third got the security screenings from 2008 to 2010, according to a government report released this week.
At risk, according to the Government Accountability Office, are offshore oil and natural gas facilities that “may be an attractive target to terrorists.”
“Because of their importance to the economy and national security, (outer continental shelf) facilities and deep-water ports are possible targets for al Qaeda and other groups with malevolent intent,” noted the GAO, Congress’ investigative arm, in its report.
Many of the facilities are located in open waters, miles away from Coast Guard assets and personnel, and platforms typically do not have personnel on board who are tasked with detecting or reporting unauthorized incursions.
Although there are about 3,900 oil and gas platforms, mobile drilling units and other facilities on the outer continental shelf, stepped-up federal security requirements only apply to those that are have more than 150 people on board or that are producing at least 100,000 barrels of oil or more than 200 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.
I am sure the enemy would like to cause a man made blowout similar to the BP spill.  The rigs could be defended with a few men with rockets that could destroy approaching boats.  They would probably need radar to site in on approaching craft.  A hijacked crew boat could still be a problem.


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