RCMP, industry work together on oil and gas site security | DrumhellerMail
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Last updateFri, 14 Jun 2024 6pm

RCMP, industry work together on oil and gas site security

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    The Drumheller RCMP, in concert with surrounding detachments and energy industry partners, is focusing on security of oil and gas sites throughout the countryside.

    Thefts from oil and gas sites are becoming a big expense to companies. Thieves are targeting everything from tools and equipment to construction supplies and wire. The RCMP is stepping up patrols to combat the problem.
    “We are trying to have a little more attention placed on them by our rural crime watch people. We are doing patrols of  the sites that are being considered higher risk than others are. We are doing joint patrols between us and oil industry personnel,” said Staff Sergeant Art Hopkins.
 He said Constable Andrew Grainger is working on setting up an oilfield crime watch so that all the different security agencies for these oilfield companies and various neighbouring detachments are all working together.
    “A lot of oilfield sites are on the periphery of one detachment or another, so we’re working with other detachments,” said Hopkins.
    Drumheller RCMP have had meetings with industry partners and the detachments to discuss the issue.
    Hopkins said they have received some resources to help work on the problem. He explains there are some funds available to detachments.
    “The Southern Alberta District asked detachments to come up with enhanced incentives for our areas of operation, and detachments were required to look into crime trends they are seeing. We had asked for money to support this,” said Hopkins.
    He said with the funds, the detachment is able to offer off duty officers some extra shifts to staff these rural patrols of high-risk sites.
    Hopkins explains these types of crimes often come in groups. He will see a number of thefts, and then it will quiet down for some time. The thefts do add up over time.
    “It is not a big thing, but it has the potential to become a big thing if it goes unchecked or some effort is not put towards it,” said Hopkins.
    He said the companies are supportive of the effort. A concern of oil sites is not just theft, but potential sabotage.
    “They (industry) are quite concerned with what is going on up north in the Grande Prairie area with the oilfields, they don’t want it to become the norm down here,” said Hopkins.
    “If these type of incidents increase who knows what could happen.  Someone could look at possibly sabotaging a line, and it puts everyone at risk. Although we don’t have huge infrastructure here, there are still a lot of pipelines, there is still a lot of risk if something goes wrong.”

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