Risk management in a changing world

SSDS Risk Management general manager Carl Moon - for webSSDS Risk Management general manager Carl Moon discusses the importance of an effective risk management strategy when working in conflict areas

Risk management in international companies working in post-conflict countries is essential to the stability and redevelopment of that region. If policy and decision makers, however, are to secure the maximum benefits from private investment they need to understand how different companies view opportunity and risk management in volatile environments, and find ways to assess their requirements in post-conflict settings to ensure safety to personnel and assets without endangering life, assets, and company reputation.

Security risks affect different companies in various ways. Petroleum companies represent expensive fixed assets and the protection of these assets is of strategic importance both to the companies themselves and often to the host governments. Hence why risk management in a post-conflict environment, such as Iraq, differs significantly to a stable environment, and will have an emphasis on protection and contingency planning.

Companies with extensive experience in post-conflict environments combine different applications to form a risk management system specific to a project or operation, thus ensuring a cordon of defensive security around the project with security and emergency medical contingency evacuation plans in place.

Unlike a stable environment, risk management in a post-conflict region is implemented in a militaristic manner. Risk management providers are involved from the initial planning stages of any project by completing an indepth analysis of the requirements then combining the analysis recommendations with a comprehensive range of solutions.

The last few years have seen new threats from insurgent and criminal groups targeting foreign companies and personnel. The escalation of conflict and post-conflict countries experiencing social unrest has increased the global threat to company assets and individuals working in these regions, especially in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. The heightened security threats have prompted international petroleum companies to implement risk and crisis management concepts that are more diverse and specific to post-conflict environments.

As we devise and implement new measures to monitor, suppress, or eradicate potential threats to our facilities and personnel, we must bear in mind that those insurgent groups are mainly headed by educated people with the same passion to find and exploit weaknesses, and ultimately to create as much instability as possible.

Risk management is the backbone of every project operating in a challenging or conflict region. To compromise on risk management could lead to a potential disaster to a project, facilities, or personnel, which in turn could seriously affect a company’s reputation.

Alain Charles Publishing, University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EX, UK
T: +44 20 7834 7676, F: +44 20 7973 0076, W: www.alaincharles.com

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