16 | JUL | 2019
Mexican companies allegedly bought stolen jet fuel
According to official data, an average of 184,920 gallons of jet fuel were stolen on a daily basis before the President launched his strategy to fight fuel theft - Photo: Carlos Mejía/EL UNIVERSAL

Mexican companies allegedly bought stolen jet fuel

25/01/2019
19:00
Misael Zavala y Alberto Morales
Mexico City
-A +A
Some of the country's major airlines claimed to have bought their fuel directly from the ASA

Apparently, Mexico’s fuel theft crisis has not only affected overland transport. According to official data, an average of 184,920 gallons of jet fuel were stolen on a daily basis before President Andrés Manuel López Obrador launched a government strategy to fight fuel theft on December 20.

The President’s office has informed that private companies were directly engaged in the purchase of stolen jet fuel, which is known to have been used in state airports. However, the fuelling infrastructure that supplies the Mexico City International Airport was allegedly unaffected.

Before the strategy to fight fuel theft was undertaken, jet fuel theft amounted to an average loss of MXN$13.04 million a day.

The pipelines operated with an average of 184,920 gallons of stolen jet fuel a day, according to data from the President’s office and the state oil company Pemex.

Though said number is negligible compared with the overall amount of fuel that was stolen in the country, which represented losses of MXN$65 billion a day, according to López Obrador, the strategy against fuel theft also covered jet fuel.

Following ground and air operations conducted since December 21, the Mexican army and navy have managed to stop jet fuel theft and reassert control of the pipelines.

During November 2018, an average of 88 thousand stolen jet fuel barrels were sold every day in Mexico, which is equivalent to 3,698,408 gallons per day.

If one should multiply said amount for MXN$18.63 (cost per liter), stolen fuel sales rose to an average of MXN$260.82 million a day.

From December 1 to 20, 2018, Pemex reported sales of 82,000 jet fuel barrels a day, which is equivalent to 13 million liters (3,434,236 gallons) a day and MXN$242.19 million in sales.

During said period, Mexican Petroleums (Pemex) reported that 184,920 gallons of jet fuel were being stolen each day. In spite of this, the federal government assured that the country kept an emergency supply of fuel. According to an inventory issued by Pemex on January 16, the state-owned company was keeping an emergency reserve of 1 million barrels of jet fuel in different facilities across the country, which the company stated would be enough to supply the entire country with fuel in case of an emergency

On January 11, President López Obrador claimed that the government was working to avoid jet fuel shortage and that tanker trucks would be used for distribution. “Surely, this may produce discomfort, which is why I express my gratitude to the Mexican people for their support and understanding.”

“I want to make it clear that there is indeed enough fuel in the country –jet fuel and diesel-, and that this is more a matter of distribution,” he stated in his daily press conference at the National Palace.

The Mexican Airports and Auxiliary Services Agency (ASA) informed that the jet fuel shortage problem had been addressed efficiently in the country’s commercial airports to avoid flight delays and other setbacks.

Regarding the purchase of stolen jet fuel in state airports, in which private companies were allegedly involved, some of the country’s major airlines claimed to have bought their fuel directly from the ASA.

Volaris indicated that all of their fuel had been bought from the ASA at Mexican airports.

On its part, Aeromexico claimed that all of their fuel purchases met national standards and were bought directly from the ASA.

Interjet, Viva Aerobús, and the National Airborne Chamber (CANANERO) made no comments in this respect.
 

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