Illegal hot tapping of pipelines and stealing product has become a serious issue for pipeline operators all over the world.
In July of 2019, Nigeria’s vandalism was on the rise, surging 115% in a matter of a month. The number of attacks on Mexico’s infrastructure is on the rise as well. A simple Google search reveals videos and news articles of explosions, crime rates, and a need to be vigilant in detecting the illegal operations in various countries across the globe. These thieves have grown more and more skilled and, in some cases, connected to corrupt governments over the years making it incredibly difficult to catch them in the act of the crime. As we learn from this article, the problem of illegal tapping is far more broad and systemic in nature. Damages to the integrity of the pipelines from illegal tapping not only cause great financial loss, but can lead to explosions causing loss of life, pipeline destruction, and environmental disaster.
A key aspect of combating the dangers due to this theft is locating the valve the criminals themselves weld onto the pipelines for the slow release of product to their chosen vessel of transport. Once located, this area of compromised integrity to the line must be returned to a safe operating standard.
The aftermath of a pipeline explosion in Tlahuilipan, Mexico. Photo Credit: The Conversation
At Uni-Forge we custom build Uni-Seal clamps with Tap Dome, the ideal solution to return to safe operations. The Split Sleeve Repair Clamp supports widely in repairing oil and gas pipelines of high or low-pressure ratings while helping encapsulate pipeline leaks caused by illegal tapping.
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Sources:  The Nigerian National Pipeline Corporation