As Published in Rigzone: Aaron Roth Speaks about Offshore Risks

There are several risks to offshore oil and gas personnel in 2024, Aaron Roth, a principal and head of federal strategy at the Chertoff Group, who has led maritime interdiction operations in the Persian Gulf and Red Sea as a member of U.S. Coast Guard Deployable Specialized Forces, outlined to Rigzone.

One of these is terrorism, Roth highlighted.

“Given the Houthis actions, copycats are always possible,” he told Rigzone. 

“Other terrorist groups could see shipping as an opportunity, especially oil/gas shippers and rigs given its actual and symbolic ties to the Middle East (and the West). We have seen them be targets in the past,” he added.

Another risk is “nation-state competition”, according to Roth.

“Primarily over sovereignty and energy/natural resources,” he said.

“The South China Sea (SCS) is the most prominent example, but the Arctic could also be competitive for energy resources. We’ve seen firsthand what can happen in the SCS as China exerts its perceived sovereignty against other nations,” he added.

Piracy was another risk flagged by Roth, who said the practice has “complicated the maritime domain since we first set sail”. 

“It will continue to be a steady drum beat globally, especially west of Africa and the horn of Africa,” he added.

“Shippers and the global maritime community have done a remarkable job of stamping down the threat, but it still exists and will not go away,” he continued.

Roth also flagged criminality as a risk.

“Illicit trade of drugs, people, and money will continue to plague the maritime industry, and the energy sector is not immune,” he said.

“They may be less of a target, but they provide supply lines for criminal actors,” he added.

The Chertoff Group head also highlighted cyber risks.

“Ransomware and other malicious cyber threats will continue to trouble the maritime community, especially the energy sector, which has a larger threat landscape that other maritime communities,” he told Rigzone. 

“The global community has been somewhat slow in raising the bar for cyber protections, especially given other risks, which raises the specter for more cyber related incidents,” he added. 

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