Pertamina suffers $37m in losses due to oil thieves
The theft of crude oil in South Sumatra since 2010 has caused the state-owned oil firm PT Pertamina to lose around 370,000 barrels of oil worth US$37.01 million.
The amount of stolen crude oil from the Tempino-Plaju oil pipeline in the province had increased over the years, Pertamina president director Karen Agustiawan said during a meeting with the House of Representatives' Commission VII overseeing energy on Monday.
Pertamina recorded that 267,510 barrels of crude oil were stolen in 2012, a surge from 94,529 barrels in 2011 and 8,120 barrels in 2010.
According to Karen, local people in Simpang Bayan and Sungai Lilin villages in Musi Banyuasin regency distill the stolen crude oil into gasoline, diesel fuel and kerosene and then sell it on to dealers, who distribute the fuels to neighboring regions, such as Jambi, Bangka Belitung Jambi and Pekanbaru, Riau Islands.
Karen said that besides Musi Banyuasin, the company had discovered many thefts occurring in Banyuasin, Palembang in South Sumatra and Jambi.
The National Police's chief of detectives, Comr. Gen. Sutarman, who also attended the meeting, said the dealers also sold the stolen oil to regions beyond Sumatra. “They have been known to sell it to Tangerang, from where it is exported to China,” he said as quoted by tempo.co.
Sutarman added that the number of oil thieves stealing from the Tempino-Plaju pipeline was estimated at around 3,350 people. South Sumatra Police handled 61 crude-oil theft cases from January to September this year. (cor/iwa)