Oil Theft - A Growing Market For Security Systems?

A Bloomberg report says that criminal activity in the oil / gas industry is increasing as the price of oil falls and more oil workers are out of work.

Key excerpt:

"From raw crude sucked from wells to expensive machinery that disappears out the back door, drillers from Texas to Colorado are struggling to stop theft that has only worsened amid the industry’s biggest slowdown in a generation. Losses reached almost $1 billion in 2013 and likely have grown since, according to estimates from the Energy Security Council, an industry trade group in Houston. The situation has been fostered by idled trucks, abandoned drilling sites and tens of thousands of lost jobs."

Anyone seeing anything like this? Will this be a driver for security systems / video surveillance / analytics, etc.?

Interesting, back in 2008/2009 when the price of oil was through the roof, there were tons of oil companies looking for remote field surveillance for their storage stations. When the price crashed shortly after, all of those projects ended overnight (I worked on several that vanished).

Large companies with wildly swinging incomes seem to have very short attention spans. Everyone thinks that video surveillance is a great idea, until the price falls again. If you were going to chase after a project like this, I'd get in and get out quickly before they change their minds. If it's a big involved project (solar, wireless, cellular, mesh, towers like I was involved in) by the time that they are ready to buy, the whole industry situation will have changed.

Scott, thanks!

"big involved project (solar, wireless, cellular, mesh, towers like I was involved in) "

I imagined that, given the remote location, it would be a lot of that.

They typically are. These locations are generally very remote with no infrastructure. The customer is going to request solar powered, tower mounted IP cameras with a cellular backhaul to their field station. The storage tanks and pump houses will be spread over several acres (if not hundreds of acres). The best, quickest option would be a cellular trail camera like what Reconyx sells for $1200. They are stills, not video, but you can get them set up quickly and get out. Designing a big remote tower system isn't all that hard, but the logistics behind getting that all together will take a lot of time.

Now, an interesting idea for someone to ponder would be to present GPS trackers to these companies to hide on their large equipment...............

There are many of these 'idled' sites in my area, some even quite close to larger populations, and aside from a rusty padlock or two they are mostly unmonitored and unprotected.

Same with agricultural supply co-ops. I understand that Anhydrous Ammonia is a primary ingredient in meth, and it is commonly available in unsecured bulk tank trailers near farms. When a meth cook needs a few gallons, they just send people to go pop open a valve from unprotected tanks. In the meantime, they leave a genuine health hazard behind!

Like oil sites, the problem is always an urgent priority to fix until cost is discussed. I'm not sure what the right price-point is for these typical customers, but it is not much, maybe less than $10/m?

With the decline in oil prices there are fewer rigs out drilling and this has created "lay down yards", essentially storage fields... there is more desire to monitor equipment in lay down yards than active drilling/producing sites because it is an easy target for theft and vandals...

This has been ongoing problem in ca. , mostly smash and grab in stores,or multiples at a time crime ,Still a lot of cheap junk out there for security though.

Usually we see more after the fact or crime dealing s . Crime has not stopped, just not reported. or deal with in house with out reports .

When you can show the before and after crime stats of how the system s have detoured crime then it pays for itself.

Usually people are skeptical about spending too much on security as they still don't see it happening to them or not in my neighborhood attitude.

The TV, News really does a lot for selling for the industry.

If you use the FBI Crime Reports and the local reports then you can really get a good idea of how much theft there really is. Not always what it seems on the surface.