TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Illegal tapping is a practice still rampant, with methods used to steal oil becoming more and more sophisticated. Oil theft has cost a fortune of losses to number of oil and gas cooperation contractors, including Chevron Pacific Indonesia.
Chevron Indonesia president director Albert Simanjuntak reported a loss of Rp23 billion due to oil theft last year.
"That's the rough calculation [of the budget needed] to repair the holes in our pipes. There were several cases of illegal tapping that caused oil spill," he said at a hearing with the House of Representatives' Commission VII in Jakarta, Monday, January 20.
Throughout 2019, he said, there were at least 72 cases of illegal tapping, of which 55 were successfully intervened.
The methods used in illegal tapping have become more sophisticated. Albert mentioned a case in 2019 where the thieves dug a 100-meter tunnel from inside a house they bought from local residents.
Albert said that Chevron continues to cooperate with the Riau Police as well as the TNI Army to curb the crime.
Meanwhile, Pertamina EP president director Nanang Abdul Manaf said illegal drillings took place in a number of the company's operating areas. Illegal practices were carried out by residents living near the company's operating area, without understanding the danger.
"They think it's the same as digging for water, when in fact [drilling] could create sparks that will lead to explosion," he said.