Illegal taps to Pemex pipelines reached record high in 2018

The state oil company Pemex estimated that the overall costs of fuel theft in 2018 rose to MXN$2.15 billion

Illegal taps to Pemex pipelines reached record high in 2018
People stand watching the fire at the scene of a massive blaze trigerred by a leaky pipeline in Tlahuelilpan, Hidalgo state, on January 18, 2019 - Photo: Alfredo Estrella/AFP
English 09/02/2019 18:28 Noé Cruz Serrano Mexico City Actualizada 14:02
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On average, fuel thieves in Mexico conducted one illegal fuel tap every 1.7 hours in 2018, which is equivalent to 13.8 taps a day, making it the worst year in terms of illegal fuel extractions from Pemex pipelines in modern history.

Information provided by the state oil company Mexican Petroleums (Pemex) indicated that in 2018, organized crime groups and fuel thieves conducted a total of 14,910 illegal fuel taps in Pemex’s 10,563-mile pipeline network, through which all sorts of hydrocarbons are transported.

This represented a 44% increase compared to 2017, and resulted in the illegal extraction of crude oil, gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, natural gas, LP gas, and gas oil.

During the administration of former president Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018), the oil company registered a total of 43,598 illegal taps, which represents a considerable increase compared with the administration of Felipe Calderón (2006-2012), during which 4,865 illegal taps were registered.

States affected by fuel theft

Hidalgo was at the top of the list among federal states that were most affected by fuel theft, with a total of 2,111 illegal taps; next was Puebla, with 2,072; Guanajuato, with 915; Jalisco, with 549; Veracruz, 538; The State of Mexico, 507, and Tamaulipas, 301.

Altogether, these seven states accounted for eight out of every 10 illegal taps in the Mexican territory throughout the year, according to Pemex’s Security and Monitoring Management.

The state-owned company informed that around 5.1 million gallons of hydrocarbons were recovered last year as a result of Pemex’s strategy to fight fuel theft.

Around 773,631 gallons of stolen fuel were recovered in the state of Jalisco; 654,628 in Puebla; 523,526 in Hidalgo, and 477,553 in Veracruz.

The products seized were mostly oils, asphalt, fuel oil, condensates, crude oil, diesel, gas, gasoline, non-specified hydrocarbons, petrochemicals, and jet fuel.

The oil company’s legal department estimated that the overall costs of fuel theft in 2018 rose to MXN$2.15 billion.

During the same year, the company registered 7,510 anonymous tips, mostly in Veracruz (355), Guanajuato (252), Puebla (875), Jalisco (584), Hidalgo (576), and the State of Mexico (517).

However, the company was only able to implicate seven Pemex workers and former workers in crimes related to fuel theft. However, none of them were arrested.



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