An oil industry expert has warned colleagues they risk life-threatening damage from hackers interested in disrupting their systems.
According to Ludolf Luehmann, an IT manager for Shell, oil industry players face increased attacks from hackers looking to do physical damage to equipment.
Citing the Stuxnet worm believed to have disrupted Iran's nuclear programme, Luehmann said hackers gaining control of physical elements of oil industry hardware could be catastrophic.
"It will cost lives and it will cost production, environmental damage - huge, huge damage."
"If anybody gets into the area where you can control opening and closing of valves, or release valves, you can imagine what happens,” he told the World Petroleum Conference in Doha, according to the BBC.
"It will cost lives and it will cost production, it will cost money, cause fires and cause loss of containment, environmental damage - huge, huge damage."
The warning came amid growing activity against Shell and other large companies, with attacks now the norm. Australian oil and gas giant Woodside Energy has also warned about exposure to cyber attacks.
"We see an increasing number of attacks on our IT systems and information,” Luehmann siad. “There are various motivations behind it - criminal and commercial."