Five Latvians and a Russian were detained Feb. 8 near St. Petersburg for cutting into a diesel pipeline that runs to the Baltic Sea port of Primorsk, said Russian oil products pipeline operator OAO Transnefteprodukt.
One of the men identified himself to the police as a tourist from Latvia, according to a statement posted on St. Petersburg-based Transnefteprodukt’s website today.
During the investigation, police and employees from two Transnefteprodukt units discovered a 1.5 kilometer, or 0.9 mile, hose leading from a breach in the pipeline to a 20 metric ton storage tank. More than 40,000 liters of stolen diesel were recovered, according to the statement.
The pipeline handles low-sulfur diesel from refineries including TNK-BP’s Ryazan plant and OAO Lukoil’s Nizhny Novgorod facility and has a capacity of 8.5 million tons a year, Ilya Arkhipov, a spokesman for the operator, said by phone from Moscow.