Oil thievery causes huge losses to Pertamina
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The upstream business unit of the state-owned oil and gas company PT Pertamina, Pertamina EP, lost 59,000 barrels of crude oil in June alone due to thievery in Jambi and South Sumatra.
The company claimed that the crimes continued because the police had not taken any measures to crack down on the perpetrators.
“We are very concerned [with the situation] because law enforcers have yet to respond to our report regarding the pillaging and the thievery,” Pertamina EP spokesman Agus Amperianto said on Monday.
The report said the thieves siphoned off the oil by drilling holes in the pipeline.
There were around 235 cases of similar thefts recorded across the nation this year.
Pertamina EP operates the Tempino-Plaju pipeline, which stretches from Jambi to South Sumatra delivering as much as 330,000 barrels of oil per month.
The company estimated that its total losses from the pipeline had reached 100,000 barrels of crude oil with an estimated value between Rp 90 billion (US$9.5 million) and Rp 100 billion.
Agus said the police’s sluggish response in cracking down on perpetrators had created a sense of impunity among the criminals.
The losses at Tempino-Plaju pipeline, which have been increasing month by month, proved that the law enforcers haven’t done their jobs, he said.
According to the company’s records, as quoted by Antara news agency, there were only 10 cases of theft in 2009, increasing to 131 cases in 2010 and 420 cases in 2011. The first half of this year has seen 431 cases, records show.
The cases mostly occurred in Baying Lencir district, Musi Banyuasin regency, South Sumatra.
Agus added that the crimes had also caused damage or even losses to the company’s assets. Agus said the company feared the crimes would lead to fires or environmental damage.
Pertamina EP, a subsidiary of Pertamina, operates across areas totaling approximately 140,000 square kilometers. Its core business is the exploration and exploitation of oil and gas across the archipelago, which is divided to three regions: Sumatra, Java and eastern Indonesia.
Pertamina itself operates six refineries in Dumai, Riau; Plaju, South Sumatra; Balongan, West Java; Cilacap, Central Java; Balikpapan, East Kalimantan; and Kasim, West Papua; with a combined capacity of 1.03 million barrels per day (bpd), but produces only 677,000 bpd of fuel products.
In separate report, Agus said that last week, 312 pieces of production pipeline were stolen. He said about 50 perpetrators who used two trucks were identified during the incident.
“The perpetrators threatened the company’s security guards at gunpoint,” he said.