AMSTERDAM, June 27 A section of a petroleum
pipeline between Germany and the Netherlands has been closed
during an investigation of suspected theft, German police and
company officials said on Friday.
The 583-km Rhein-Main-Rohrleitungstransportgesellschaft
(RMR) pipeline transports oil products from the
Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp refining hub to Germany. Its main
stakeholders are Royal Dutch Shell and BP.
Shell and BP declined to comment.
An official at RMR said in a statement sent to Reuters: "We
can confirm that RMR is impacted by an incident in the Cologne
region.. .We currently expect that the affected section of our
pipeline will be back in operation by Monday."
No other details were provided about how much may have been
stolen from the pipeline, which has a 250,000 barrel-per-day
German police spokesman Christoph Gilles said the incident
dated back several weeks or even months, but that the police
were only informed about it on Tuesday evening.
In a rare case of fuel theft in Germany, an unidentified
culprit connected a 10-metre long hose and tap to the pipeline
and hundreds of litres of petrol leaked onto the ground.
"We are investigating petrol theft and environmental
offences," Gilles said.
(Reporting By Kirsti Knolle and Ron Bousso. Writing by Anthony
Deutsch; editing by Jason Neely)