Pertamina EP says theft of crude oil piped through the Tempino-Plaju pipeline spanning Jambi and South Sumatra provinces has caused more than 100,000 barrels of oil worth Rp 90 billion to Rp 100 billion ($9.5 million to $10.6 million) to be siphoned away.
“Pertamina EP really regrets that no concrete action has been taken following our report of these criminal acts, so that there has been no deterrent. One of the proofs is that losses from theft in the Tempino-Plaju pipeline are rising,” Pertamina EP spokesman Agus Amperianto said in a written statement on Monday.
Besides theft of the crude, other criminal actions against Pertamina in the region have included the stealing of assets, sabotage and even violence against personnel.
“These irresponsible acts not only cause losses in terms of crude oil or assets, but also hinder operational activities because the assets are missing or damaged, and lead to environmental pollution and fire danger,” Agus said.
He said Pertamina EP records for 2010-11 showed that crude theft affected 48,000 barrels estimated to be worth more than Rp 40 billion.
By June 2012, more than 56 cases of theft and other lawbreaking had been recorded this year in Prabumulih, South Sumatra. They included crimes involving violence on the Talang Jimar gathering stations on June 27, in which 50 people with two trucks took 312 pipes stashed there using the threat of firearms.
In Jambi, crude theft this year had, by May 2012, already reached more than 39,000 barrels, or about 12 percent of the crude that passed through the Tempino-Plaju pipeline.
By June, crude theft reached 59,000 barrels, or 17.9 percent of the crude going through the pipeline.
Agus said that in 2012 alone, there were already 431 cases of theft on crude reported for the first half of the year.
The theft is carried out by drilling a hole in the pipeline and affixing a diverting faucet. This type of crime is also prevalent in Bayung Lencir subdistrict of South Sumatra. Those cases numbered 235 this year.