Indonesia loses $37m to oil thieves

16 October 2012, Sweetcrude, JAKARTA- LOCAL reports say Indonesia’s state oil company Pertamina has lost more than $37 million since 2010 due to activities of oil thieves operating in South Sumatra.

Pertamina president director Karen Agustiawan told members of the country’s House of Representatives’ Commission VII overseeing energy, that the amount of oil stolen from the Tempino-Plaju oil pipeline had increased over the years.

The Jakarta Post reports that Pertamina recorded 267,510 barrels oil being stolen this year, a significant increase on the 94,529 barrels recorded last year and 8,120 barrels in 2010.

The newspaper quoted Karen as saying the local people in Simpang Bayan and Sungai Lilin villages in the Musi Banyasin regency distilled the stolen oil into gasoline, diesl fuel and kerosene and then sell it on to dealers who in turn then distribute the fuels to neighbouring regions.

The National Police’s chief of detectives, commissioner general Sutarman, was also quoted by the paper as saying during the meeting that the number of people stealing from the Tempinio-Plaju pipeline was estimated at about 3350 people.

Five people were killed and about 20 injured this month in an explosion and fire on one of Pertamina’s pipelines in South Sumatra after locals attempted to siphon crude.

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  • We were under the erroneous impression that other oil producing nations don’t suffer crude oil theft. However, if all Pertamina has lost to crude oil theft since 2010 is $37 million, then they have cause to celebrate. Given current trend, the amount represents what Nigeria loses weekly to crude oil theft.