Pemex platforms targeted by organized crime

Until August 2019, 15 robberies to Pemex platforms have been registered, some of them with extreme violence

Pemex platforms targeted by organized crime
This year, there is an average of two robberies per month – Photo: Kim Laland/EFE
English 08/10/2019 18:07 Noé Cruz Serrano Mexico City Actualizada 18:35
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Theft to Pemex platforms has kept an average of twice per month during this year.

According to information from the Legal Department of the oil company, organized crime has focused on boarding, sometimes with extreme violence, the marine facilities of the Sonda de Campeche.

Until August 2019, 15 robberies to platforms have been registered, as explained by the agency in a report delivered via National Transparency Platform dated October 1st, 2019, “information that is registered in institutional legal systems.”

According to the team of lawyers that addresses these cases, Pemex has presented the corresponding claims to the Federal Prosecutor with headquarters in Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche, some of which are in the stage of integration of investigation files.

Sonda Campeche is located 150 kilometers from the coast and over 100 platforms operate there permanently. Pemex revealed that during 2018, 60 acts of theft and vandalism were registered in this kind of facilities.

In the last 2.5 years, illegal boarding has focused on the platforms of the Ku-Maloob-Zaap and Cantarell oilfields: Abkatun, Chuhuk, Chuc, Cann, Ixtal, Kuil, Homol, Batab, Pol, Etkal, Taratunich, Manik, Tsimin, Abk, Bolontiku, Kab, May, Och, Sinan, Uech, Xanab, Xux, and Yaxche, which are located near the coast of Ciudad del Carmen, which eases the transport to land of what is stolen.

The claims refer that pirates want to steal aluminum anti-slip plates, electric cable reels, heliport covers, modules, wells security and control dashboards, battery banks, sailing lights cabinets, wiring of the platforms transmitters racks, as well as beaters with perimeter fencing.

The robberies also include fire-extinguishing systems, extinguishers, welding machines cables, extension cords, tools, life-rafts, screens, heliport lighting batteries, iron doors, data-acquisition cabins, and solar panels.

Sometimes, according to the reports, they look to scatter the boats and vessels that approach the platforms with water: “When criminals are scattered, there are damages to different parts of the structures, mainly in cables of different calibers.”

Pemex has to classify the information on these incidents as “reserved” for five years as well as the economic impact they cause, and it does not report all the illegal boardings to platforms to prevent retaliation.

As a matter of fact, the criminals arrive in groups of up to 23 boats using sharp weapons or firearms, which entails a risk for Pemex and private companies’ staff in the facilities.

Some of the companies that have registered economic loss for this crime are Diavaz, Cotemar, SISA, Kanatum, IMP, Micoperi, Typhoon Offshore, Evya, and Baker Hughes, among others.

The report says that from January 1 to August 31, 2019, 15 illegal boardings have taken place in Pemex platforms, out of which five were in July, four in March and three in August.

Official documents reveal that what is stolen is sold in the black market or is directly sold to Pemex’s contractor firms that are willing to pay much less than the actual market price.


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