21 | MAY | 2019
What more must PEMEX endure?
PEMEX offshore platform - File photo/CUARTOSCURO

What more must PEMEX endure?

Mexico City
Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL
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PEMEX has been dealt blow after blow; from executive officers involved in embezzlement scandals to piracy at offshore facilities

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Only yesterday had EL UNIVERSAL reported the historic figures regarding cases of kidnappings when this Tuesday we bring to you information on the number of robberies and thefts to offshore facilities of state-owned oil company Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX), which have virtually tripled by going from 38 reports in 2016 to 103 in 2017. Definitely, authorities on the three levels of governments have failed to provide the necessary security.

Modern pirates arrive on small ships with a crew of 10 and board offshore oil platforms to steal cables, pumps, and other pieces of equipment they later sale or rent to private oil companies.

For 2018, the panorama of PEMEX offshore facilities seems not to have changed much, given that this past March there were 19 reports of equipment theft and vandalism, as well as the presence of intruders, on habitation platforms, drilling rigs, and processing centers.

There is no official number of the monetary losses thus far but estimates point out that this crime, striking the platforms in Campeche, has caused PEMEX a loss of MXN$ 738 million.

For years seen as the industry that would lead Mexico towards economic development (to abundance, according to a Head of State), hydrocarbon production has dwindled to such an extent that crude oil sales went from representing 37% of Mexico's total exports in 1990 to 15% in 2005. And 2018 began with a fall in crude oil export since Mexico stopped selling 294,000 daily barrels less in January, if we compare it to the production of December 2017.

PEMEX has been dealt blow after blow. From executive officers involved in embezzlement investigations to the oil workers' union squeezing every last cent of the company's coffers to pay for sports centers, gifts for Mother's Day or gold presents for retirees.

Moreover, the fight against oil theft has caused the company losses of over MXN$ 30 billion a year.

And Now we have piracy at offshore platforms.

With the energy reform, the oil industry is trying to make a come-back to recover the splendor of the good old days but if the security of the workers and the facilities cannot be guaranteed, the path will be full of bends.

The solution shouldn't be providing resources to protect offshore facilities. The vigilance of shores and national waters is the responsibility of the Mexican Navy. We need a better coordination between the organizations.


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