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Colombia Bleeds Nearly One Billion Dollars in Oil Theft

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Recent reports revealed that Colombia has suffered losses of nearly one billion dollars over the past five years due to oil product theft.

According to the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy on the 6th, Ecopetrol, Colombia’s largest and primary petroleum company, has been robbed of 5.3 million barrels of crude oil and 52,000 barrels of oil products since 2019. These incidents have resulted in financial losses of around $936 million.

An Ecopetrol representative stated, “We’ve identified about 5,000 instances of illegal pipelines used to siphon off oil from our pipelines, leading to the theft of crude oil worth around $415 million.”

Moreover, Ecopetrol spent an additional $275 million to repair environmental damage caused by the thefts. The company’s financial losses have been compounded by its inability to receive $252 million in government subsidies due to the theft incidents.

To address the persistent theft incidents, Ecopetrol and the Colombian security forces have decided to boost investment in military intelligence, tighten inspections of oil transportation, and enhance security around oil infrastructure.

theguru
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