A new report from the International Union of Petroleum Exporting Countries (IUPEX) shows that, as of February, more than 40 million barrels of oil were stolen from oilfields worldwide.
“This is a significant escalation in the number of oil thefts worldwide in 2016,” said IUPEX Executive Director and former Oil Spill Analyst at the International Energy Agency, Nick Hopkins.
The new data also shows that theft of oil has increased by 10.3 percent since 2016, while theft of natural gas has increased 6.9 percent.
This new data shows that oil theft in 2016 is on the rise and that there is an increase in the overall number of thefts.
The report also indicates that theft rates for oilfield-related assets have increased by nearly 4 percent in 2016.
While the IUPex report does not identify the oil theft targets, Hopkins noted that thefts of oilfield assets from the US and the EU have increased, while thefts from Asia have decreased.
In the US, oilfield theft increased by almost 10 percent in the first six months of this year, compared to a year ago.
The number of crimes committed in the US by thieves jumped from 5,817 in 2016 to 6,051 in 2017.
The IUPEC also notes that the rate of oil theft is increasing in countries in the European Union, which has seen a 20 percent increase in oilfield thefts.
Oil theft is not only a global phenomenon, the report also shows, but is also increasing in the EU.
In the first half of this calendar year, the EU recorded a total of 9,732 oilfield incidents, an increase of more than 1,000 per cent compared to 2016.
The increase in thefts from the EU is not limited to oilfields.
The report also noted that a large number of theft incidents were linked to the use of vehicles.
The number of incidents involving vehicles, including those committed by people using them, increased by 50 percent during the first two months of 2017.
This increase in theft was primarily due to the emergence of “smart” technology.
These vehicles have been equipped with cameras and sensors, which are now able to detect when their owners are out and about, and can take immediate action to prevent further theft.
The new IUPE report is the latest to show the increasing number of economic, political, and social impacts of oil spill disasters and oil theft.