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Satellite communication can reduce losses due to fuel theft in Latam

Colombia, Chile, Mexico and Peru, amongst the most affected

The increase in the prices of hydrocarbons worldwide can increase the petty theft of fuel one of the most frequent criminal activities in Latin America.

In Chile, last November an operation was carried out in which individuals who took more than 53 thousand liters of gasoline were arrested, in other countries of Latin America similar criminal incidents could be evidenced.

“Illegal hydrocarbons subtraction happens throughout Latin America,” says Santiago Castellanos, marketing director at AXESS. “The Mexican para-state ‘Petróleos Mexicanos’ oil company has lost around 159 billion pesos due to the proliferation of clandestine takes in the last 7 years. For its part, the Colombian ‘Ecopetrol’ has also faced this problem with the loss of more than 100,000 barrels of oil, in just 15 months. The lesson learned from these experiences is that there is a lack of surveillance in the distribution networks,” Castellanos said.

Mexico and Colombia together have more than 21 ml kilometers of gas pipelines in their territory, a large extension of hydrocarbons and fuel transport systems that must be effectively monitored by companies, using traditional methods. The communications infrastructure is insufficient to carry out an effective prevention process due to inadequate subtraction, throughout the distribution network.

Communication via satellite antennas could prevent fuel theft, as they would provide constant and real-time surveillance, in remote and hard-to-reach areas.

The use of satellite solutions is an effective option to reliably remedy internet connectivity in remote areas, where traditional broadband service does not exist. “The extension of the gas and oil pipeline networks is such that there are vulnerable areas throughout the countries. A monitoring system is not useful if it does not have a connection that reports, in real-time, the measurements”, commented Santiago Castellanos of AXESS.

Thanks to satellite connectivity and communication, the monitoring system in the fuel transfer pipelines would have a permanent connection to the satellite network regardless of its location. “AXESS solutions can be customized according to needs. The connection is permanent and from anywhere on the planet”, added the business leader. In this way, satellite internet companies become an essential ally for Latin American parastatals, which together report losses of several hundred billion liters of fuel annually. (See satellite phone)