June 2018, Vol. 245, No. 6


Detecting Vandalism, Theft During Normal Operations

By Rene Landstorfer, Operations Manager, Gottsberg Leak Detection GmbH & Co. KG, Oststeinbek, Germany Pipelines have always been subject to vandalism and theft. In recent decades, political conflicts have sometimes led to acts of sabotage and terrorism in which pipelines were damaged and catastrophic consequences occurred. Currently, though, pipeline theft has become a greater issue. Fuel theft in Mexico, for example, has evolved from a small-time criminal activity carried out by robbery rings and corrupt distributors to a sophisticated operation linked to Mexico’s main criminal groups: the drug cartels. Thieves drilled about 2,500 illegal taps in the first nine months of 2014 and stole

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