Abandoned and at Risk: As Oil Production Slows, Crime Accelerates

With demand and prices at historic lows, oil producers have been shutting down sites across the U.S. Refineries already cut back fuel production by 25%.

With demand and prices at historic lows, oil producers have been shutting down sites across the U.S. CNBC reports that refineries have already cut back fuel production by 25%, and if this downward spiral continues, they could be operating at just 60% capacity.

The oil and gas industry has been here before, and it wasn’t that long ago. Between 2014 and 2016, oil prices tanked 70% due to a massive surplus, triggering the largest price decline in decades. And, demand and prices have famously fluctuated through the decades, requiring producers to do the same with their capacity planning.

With the current global glut, oil production sites and refineries are significantly scaling back operations – and the repercussions of doing so are impacting more than the bottom line. Oil and gas companies are also facing new security risks, as abandoned or thinly staffed production sites become a hot spot for criminals, and disgruntled laid off employees can use their inside knowledge to assist in these crimes.

Security Risk on the Rise

Because of the expensive equipment on location – from drilling tools, to copper wiring, to metal piping, to sophisticated electronicsoil production sites are already a target for thieves. To put this in context, a single drill bit can fetch $50,000 or more, and scrap metal can sell for thousands of dollars on the black market. We saw a massive uptick in equipment theft during the 2014-16 market crash, with one report indicating a 30 – 35% increase in equipment theft over the previous two years. And the same can be expected today.

Oil and gas facilities may be vacant for a time, but they don’t have to go unwatched. Pro-Vigil’s live remote monitoring services offer a surveillance solution monitored by a team of security professionals around the clock. Pro-Vigil offers an active line of defense against theft and other crime, while providing customers with remote access anywhere, anytime. To learn more about how we can help secure your site, please contact us today.

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