One of the major concerns for pipeline operators is product theft, as the number of theft incidents is increasing year over year. Furthermore, this problem is not isolated to developing countries, but is very much present in developed economies as well.
In its recent report, Concawe (which provides research in environmental issues relevant to the oil industry) pointed out the big increase in theft activities all over Europe. About 90% of all oil leak incidents, occurring between 2014 and 2016, were related to theft cases, which is a huge increase compared to 10%-15% between 2006 and 2010.
A pipeline explosion on 18th January 2019., caused by illegal tapping of the pipeline, killed at least 124 people and injured dozens more in the town of Tlahuelilpan, Mexico
Consequences of product theft from pipelines include:
- substantial loss of income that can reach hundreds of millions of dollars - loss of lives and threat to people safety due to possible explosions and/or fires following oil spills - oil leaks which damage the environment - damage to the pipeline operator brand
The thieves often use modern equipment and a variety of techniques, displaying a wide range of technical knowledge and skills. They try to outsmart installed leak detection systems by keeping flow rates during the theft attempts below the sensitivity limits.
The only way to fight theft in such cases is use of a high-end leak detection system which is reliable and highly sensitive, so that it can detect even the smallest leaks. Netico offers Leak Hunter, efficient, reliable, very sensitive and cost-effective leak detection system adaptable to any transmission pipeline.
What can Leak Hunter do for you?
- Detect any theft attempt quickly - Localise the place of the leak accurately - Prevent damage to the environment - Increase infrastructural safety and safety of personnel - Protect company brand reputation - And finally, save money