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John Daley reporting News of the terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia sent shivers through people attending the American Association of Petroleum Geologists convention this week in Salt Lake. They knows all too well the challenges of producing oil around the world, and the challenges presented by international terrorism.
Last night's attacks in Riyadh provide a grim reminder of the dangers. This attack happened after the State Department warned that terrorist groups might be in the final phases of planning attacks on U.S. interests. And it happened at a housing complex being protected by Saudi guards.
Here in Salt Lake this week are 6000 petroleum geologist from all over the world. Many of them work in countries that are in terrorism hot spots--places were political instability and terrorism are a constant danger. In response to the threat--the industry is investing billions of dollars in security--and training employees about what to watch for.
Jamil Al Dandany/Aramco Services Company: "WE ARE NOT IMMUNE FROM THIS. OIL COMPANIES ALL OVER THE WORLD HAVE INVESTED HEAVILY IN SECURITY AS YOU KNOW IT IS VERY EXPENSIVE AND POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS FACILITIES SHOULD THE ACCIDENTS TAKE PLACE."
Bobby Gillham/Head of Global Security/Conoco, Inc.: "WE HAVE TO STAY ALERT, WE HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING WE CAN DO. PEOPLE HAVE TO STAY SMART. BUT YOU GO ABOUT LIVING YOUR LIVES AND DOING YOUR BUSINESS AND HOPE YOU'RE NOT IN THE WRONG PLACE AT THE WRONG TIME I GUESS."
Gillham says September 11th, of course, served as a wake-up call for the oil industry. He says companies are looking to assess and address security threats both abroad, and in the U.S.
For example, he says his company, Conoco, is seriously beefing up security at one U-S refinery. Price tag: 5 million dollars.