Save fuel and protect your business from fuel theft

12 Oct 2022 By EMS

Save fuel and protect your business from fuel theft

Save fuel and protect your business from fuel theft

Recently we are seeing and hearing a lot of headlines about fuel theft, but is theft on a massive scale really a problem for the fuel industry? So how do you save fuel and protect your business from fuel theft.

Fuel theft is a huge problem for the fuel industry, but it’s also a problem for all of us.

Whether you work in mining, rail, logistics, construction, agriculture or another industry where liquid fuels are needed just to get the job done; fuel security needs to be non-negotiable in your business.

Human error, unapproved fuel usage, wastage and fuel theft could be hurting your business more than you realise. These factors can become enormously costly without effective controls in place during the delivery, storage, dispensing and consumption phases. Keep reading to uncover some of the most valuable fuel-saving hacks.


Fuel theft has become a major problem across the world, with more sophisticated methods being used to steal gas and diesel.

In the US this year, two men in Virginia Beach were caught illegally pumping thousands of dollars worth of gasoline from a Citgo gas station using a device that allowed them to pump fuel without paying for it. The suspects even advertised their operation on social media as part of a larger conspiracy.

This is just one example of how fuel theft has become more prevalent in recent years, with law enforcement becoming aware of highly modified trucks stealing thousands of gallons of gas in Las Vegas and Florida.

“They go in and they change the pulsator,” said Ned Bowman, executive director at Florida Petroleum Marketers in an interview with Business Insider. “The pulsator is the device that is inside the gas pump that regulates the flow of the fuel. So they’re able to change the price of the fuel down to a nickel or a penny to the gallon and fill the back of their trucks up—their bladders or spare tanks—with fuel that’s basically free.”

Convenience stores are not the only ones with a fuel theft problem—it’s an issue that affects all gas stations and refineries. At US$133 billion per year, oil is the largest stolen natural resource globally. In England, unpaid fuel incidents at gas stations rose 22% in June 2022.

Risks to businesses

The risks associated with fuel theft aren’t limited to convenience stores, either. Fleet managers need to watch out for bad actors who target vehicles along trucking routes.

Fuel theft impacts operations at the upstream, midstream, and downstream levels and it’s so entrenched that even politicians, military personnel, and police are complicit in illegal activities. There’s no getting away from this risk—where there are valuable resources there will be illicit behavior. So what steps can convenience store operators take to minimize losses without creating added burden for customers at the pump?


Tactical steps to curb fuel theft

The key is to increase resiliency and awareness through a combination of data analytics, communication, proactive measures and education.

As we’ve discussed throughout this guide, there are many different ways to learn about your fuel theft problem. The first step is to understand how to account for your inventory as best you can. This means tapping into the full arsenal of tools at your disposal. The crucial piece of this process is technology. With the right technology, you can see how much fuel you have, learn when large amounts of fuel leave your tanks, and plan your fuel delivery with precision.


Wetstock Monitoring Solution that gives you control from anywhere in the world

Fuelsuite brings together your EPA compliance, fuel inventory, delivery, reconciliation, price and ATG alarms within one wetstock management solution. This gives you the tools to effectively manage your leak detection, maintenance and fuel consumption and inventory for both above and below-ground tanks Globally.

To learn how you can find your own combo of data, analytics, and more to finally spot and stop fuel theft, download our Fuelsuite ebook.

Stay tuned for our next article. Contact us for more info.