`Terrorists can hit $300 bn Australian oil rigs`

American investors fear that Australia`s USD 300 billion worth of oil and gas rigs are vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

Last Updated: May 29, 2012, 14:02 PM IST

Sydney: American investors fear that Australia`s USD 300 billion worth of oil and gas rigs are vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

According to news.com.au, owing to the terrorist threat the Australian military has pledged to increase its check in key areas.

Australian lawmaker Alan Eggleston has told a Senate committee that he had been approached by several oil and gas companies concerned about the lack of security off the North West coast.

"They say their American investors are particularly concerned that perhaps the defence of, and the protection for, these facilities is not quite what it could be," Eggleston said.

"A lot of our American investors are concerned about the possibility of terrorism," he added.

The threat of an attack was even greater, as many of the rigs were unmanned, Eggleston said.

Australian Defence Force (ADF) chief General David Hurley said that ADF only positioned itself for the most likely threats, which were terrorist attacks on rigs.

Hurley acknowledged that a recent defence review noted that the level of ADF activity in the region had declined in the past two decades and was ``low visibility``.

Hurley said he would take top brass to the region to talk to representatives of industry and local government, and would ask the crews of patrol boats and aircraft to make their presence better known to the installations and companies there.

ANI