>> The U.S. oil industry heavily relies on high tech gadgets, like digital sensors, infrared cameras, and drones to monitor pipelines for security and leaks. But Tuesday's sabotage by climate change activists who shutdown five cross border pipelines between the US and Canada shows how vulnerable the industry is to low tech attacks.
Reuter's energy correspondent Liz Hampton is at the headquarters of one of he company's affected, Kidrow Morgan. She reports the activists scheme was pretty simple.>> These protesters and climate activists basically using bolt cutters went into various valve stations, which are protected with nothing more than a chain link fence that you might see on a playground.
Cut through that and they cut through the chains that keep the valves secured and all they did was turn it to shut it off. So that's how simple it was.>> But several pipeline operators and safety experts say shutting off the valves was risky and that activists underestimated those risks.
>> By turning off the valves that would cause an increase in pressure in the pipeline and so if there were any weaknesses in the system from the origin points where they turned it off then that could have been potentially cause a rupture or a leak. And there's no way to know where that could happen.
It could happen in a heavily or densely populated area near schools or it could have happened somewhere remote. But the point is it was a very dangerous undertaking.>> The same security risks are present across the world. In Nigeria and conflict zones such as Iraq pipelines have been targeted by militants.
In Mexico thieves target pipes to siphon off fuel. But until Tuesday environmental activists had never carried out a simultaneous coordinated attack of this magnitude on US soil. Their move was the latest in a series of protests showing solidarity for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, which is against the Dakota Access Pipeline that critics say could rupture and sour drinking water.