In recent years, the global pipeline community has made a lot of progress in detecting and locating pipeline thefts. Technologies have been developed and applied to a number of pipelines worldwide. While these technologies are contributing significantly to the early detection and location of tapping points, the impact these technologies have had varies from one country to another.
The main factors affecting the consequence reduction include social, economic, political and legal situation in each region. The drive for illegal tapping also plays a major role in the impact of an advanced theft detection system.
This paper will review some of the progress made in theft detection and the responses different pipeline companies take. It also discusses the main challenges in some parts of the world in addressing illegal tapping despite the advanced technologies.