Russian oil pipelines. Photo: BBG
Moscow: A Russian man spent three years digging a 60 metre tunnel to steal oil from a pipeline in the Novosibirsk region of Siberia, the local branch of the Interior Ministry said.
The man, 52, stole about 30 metric tons of crude (220 barrels) over the past three months via the tunnel, which he dug after work and on weekends, according to a video interview police posted on the ministry's website.
The man, who wasn't identified, said his earnings from the scheme didn't justify his investment. Total damages to OAO Transneft, Russia's pipeline operator and owner of the trunk line, reached 500,000 rubles ($15,400), the ministry said.
Thieves breached Transneft's pipeline network, the world's longest, at least 180 times last year, according to the state- run company's website. Its crude and oil-product facilities have been tapped illegally at least three other times this month.