Oil companies are resorting to technology to prevent misuse of their products.
April 10, 2019
By Webley Prabodh. P
Trainee journalist, IIJNM
Bengaluru| Petroleum companies like Bharat Petroleum have started using electronic locks on their oil tankers to prevent theft and misuse of oil products while transporting them. This initiative has been started from March 1, 2019.
S.Sabarinath, sales manager, Bharat Petroleum Bangalore division, said, “We decided to use these locks so that our products don’t get stolen or sold while being transported from our filling points to the dealers. It is a loss for everyone if this happens and it has happened before. This is a foolproof way to make sure it doesn’t happen.”
The vehicles are fitted with GPS systems to track their movements. This can be done by the head office and the dealer simultaneously. Once the tanker arrives at a dealership, the dealers must use a designated app to unlock them using a Bluetooth enabled smart key. The lock must be unlocked within a minute or the process must be repeated all over again.
Kantharaj, assistant manager, Bharat Petroleum station at J.C Road, said, “We have to enter a one-time password to open the lock. This should be done every time we get a load. If the vehicle is delayed by a few minutes, the locks don’t open unless we get a confirmation from the head office.”
The dealers say that this is a painstakingly long process and one small error leads to them starting over the process, all over again. The manufacturers say that it will lead to more companies using it in the near future.
Ruman. N, sales representative, STERNA, Mumbai, said, “We had set up a whole new division for technical support and management because there’s a lot of electronics that are involved. Since Bharat Petroleum has implemented it, more companies will follow as it is very safe and helpful.”
With the new methods, petroleum companies are hoping to reduce petroleum theft.