Utilising threat intelligence data during COVID-19
The spread of coronavirus across the world has shown how quickly events can develop and change the course of human activity.
From individuals practising social distancing through to supply chains coming under strain to meet countries’ demands. The energy sector is no different – according to IHS Markit, the reduction in oil consumption due to coronavirus has led to a first-half surplus of 1.8bn barrels of crude oil. The volume of available storage for oil production is already running low.
Alongside the impact of coronavirus on country economies, there is also the impact on specific production facilities and operations to consider. Oil rigs have had to develop processes for handling those that have caught the virus, while also protecting their employees that are in place.
Planning ahead in this environment becomes essential, but it is hard to make the right decisions without accurate and objective data. Using threat intelligence in the right way can help.
Threat intelligence in a time of a pandemic
In order to make the best decisions around how to respond to changes, it is essential to take an intelligence-led approach. This data has to include information on wider trends and issues at a global level, but it also has to be practical for those in specific locations to use too. Getting a 10,000-foot overview is great for those managing business operations globally, but those responsible for specific oilfields or installations require this kind of information too.
To gather this information and make it useful requires both a large amount of data and the analytical skills to make this useful. While raw data can be great for those that understand it, it’s not useful for business leaders without the right context. Similarly, having great analysts and small samples of data can lead to incomplete understanding and poorer planning.
Developing your own approach
It is also not a simple exercise to gather this data. There are multiple data sources and providers, increasing to hundreds or thousands of different data streams for truly international companies. To make this data work in practice, you have to bring together different feeds, systems and applications, especially when each security team within a country can have its own approach.
Sharing, storing and tracking information is difficult in these circumstances, so standardising on one approach that can be made available to everyone is advisable. This joined-up approach ultimately improves efficiency and performance whilst saving the business both time and money.
By managing your approach to threat intelligence and getting better context in place, you can improve your decision making at multiple levels, based on providing timely and useful insight for all those that need it.
As companies seek to understand what their market situation is, getting the right data will be essential. Without accurate, clear and open data, it’s more difficult to make the right decisions. Whether the world returns to normal after the impact of the coronavirus epidemic – or indeed, whether this becomes the new normal for organisations to cope with – threat intelligence data will be vital for the security of oil and gas companies in the future.
For more information on energy digital topics - please take a look at the latest edition of Energy Digital Magazine.
Form Energy receives funding power for iron-air batteries
Form Energy believes it has cracked the conundrum of commercialising grid storage through iron-air batteries - and some of the biggest names in industry are backing its potential.
The startup recently announced the battery chemistry of its first commercial product and a $200 million Series D financing round led by ArcelorMittal’s XCarb innovation fund. Founded in 2017, Form Energy is backed by investors Eni Next LLC, MIT’s The Engine, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Prelude Ventures, Capricorn Investment Group and Macquarie Capital.
While solar and wind resources are the lowest marginal cost sources of electricity, the grid faces a challenge: how to manage the multi-day variability of renewable energy, even in periods of multi-day weather events, without sacrificing energy reliability or affordability.
Moreover, while Lithium-ion batteries are well suited to fast bursts of energy production, they run out of energy after just a few hours. Iron-air batteries, however, are predicted to have theoretical energy densities of more than 1,200 Wh/kg according to Renaissance of the iron-air battery (phys.org)
The active components of Form Energy's iron-air battery system are some of the cheapest, and most abundant materials: iron, water, and air. Iron-air batteries are the best solution to balance the multi-day variability of renewable energy due to their extremely low cost, safety, durability, and global scalability.
It claims its first commercial product is a rechargeable iron-air battery capable of delivering electricity for 100 hours at system costs competitive with conventional power plants and at less than 1/10th the cost of lithium-ion and can be optimised to store electricity for 100 hours at system costs competitive with legacy power plants.
"This product is our first step to tackling the biggest barrier to deep decarbonisation: making renewable energy available when and where it’s needed, even during multiple days of extreme weather, grid outages, or periods of low renewable generation," it states.
Mateo Jaramillo, CEO and Co-founder of Form Energy, said it conducted a broad review of available technologies and has reinvented the iron-air battery to optimise it for multi-day energy storage for the electric grid. "With this technology, we are tackling the biggest barrier to deep decarbonization: making renewable energy available when and where it’s needed, even during multiple days of extreme weather or grid outages," he said.
Form Energy and ArcelorMittal are working jointly on the development of iron materials which ArcelorMittal would non-exclusively supply for Form’s battery systems. Form Energy intends to source the iron domestically and manufacture the battery systems near where they will be sited. Form Energy’s first project is with Minnesota-based utility Great River Energy, located near the heart of the American Iron Range.
Greg Ludkovsky, Global Head of Research and Development at ArcelorMittal, believes Form Energy is at the leading edge of developments in the long-duration, grid-scale battery storage space. "The multi-day energy storage technology they have developed holds exciting potential to overcome the issue of intermittent supply of renewable energy."
Investors in Form Energy's November 2020 round included Energy Impact Partners, NGP Energy Technology Partners III, and Temasek.
In May 2020, it signed a contract with Minnesota-based utility Great River Energy to jointly deploy a 1MW / 150MWh pilot project to be located in Cambridge, MN. Great River Energy is Minnesota's second-largest electric utility and the fifth largest generation and transmission cooperative in the US.
Last week Helena and Energy Vault announced a strategic partnership to identify additional opportunities for Energy Vault’s waste remediation technologies as the company begins deployment of its energy storage system worldwide. It received new investment from Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures (SAEV) in June.
Maoneng has revealed more details of its proposed 240MWp / 480MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula in Australia (click here).
The BESS represents hundreds of millions of dollars of investment that will improve electricity grid reliability and network stability by drawing energy from the grid during off-peak periods for battery storage, and dispatching energy to the grid during peak periods.