Published On: Sat, May 30th, 2020

“Huachicoleo” in Mexico: simply unstoppable

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Pemex reported a 122% increase in illegal gas drilling during the pandemic. A total of 2,646 illicit drillings found throughout the country.

MEXICO CITY (El Universal) – Despite promises to fight huachicoleo (gasoline theft) made by the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador at the beginning of his term, fuel theft has not been stopped. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, illegal drilling continues throughout the country.

Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) was responsible for announcing that the huachicoleros are operating normally, as they counted 2,646 illegal drillings during the first three months of the year. Gasoline, diesel, and turbosina (airplane gasoline), among others, are their primary targets, according to data obtained by El Universal.

Besides, the company warned about the number of illegal drilling for the theft of the so-called liquefied petroleum gas or LP, which recorded in the first quarter a total of 474 clandestine withdrawals, ie, 5.2 drillings per day.

Compared to the same period, but last year, the PEMEX Management of Strategy and Security Systems and Monitoring had recorded only 213 drillings in LP gas pipelines, which means an increase of 122%.

These illegal acts registered throughout the country, but it is Hidalgo, where the most significant number of clandestine hydrocarbon takings are concentrated, with 898 in the January-March period.

Pemex’s Strategy, Security Systems, and Monitoring Department reported a 122% increase in clandestine seizures (Photo: Cuartoscuro)
Pemex’s Strategy and Security Systems and Monitoring Management reported a 122% increase in clandestine takeovers (Photo: Cuartoscuro)
Far away in numbers, but no less critical is Puebla with 475 shots, followed by the State of Mexico with 357 holes, Veracruz with 176, Guanajuato with 168, Tabasco with 122 and Tamaulipas with 115, according to Pemex.

With less than 100 shots located are Michoacan with 59, Queretaro with 51, Baja California with 41, Tlaxcala with 36, Jalisco with 33, Nuevo Leon with 28, Coahuila with 24, Chihuahua with 18, Durango and Oaxaca with 12.

Sonora and Sinaloa barely managed to enter the register with eight illegal drilling, while Mexico City accumulated three and Chiapas two. Quintana Roo, Yucatan, Campeche, Guerrero, Baja California Sur, Nayarit, Zacatecas and San Luis Potosi had no records of illegal drilling.

The oil company added that the federal government continues to implement security measures, in addition to increasing the number of both military and police forces guarding Pemex pipelines.

However, they assumed that criminal activities continue, which could, in the worst-case scenario, harm the company’s financial situation and operating results.

Petroleos Mexicanos said in the report recovered by El Universal that during the first quarter of the year, they managed to secure a total of 184,925 liters of hydrocarbons from the hands of organized crime.

The latest financial report of Pemex showed a net loss of 562,531 billion pesos (23,913 billion dollars) during the first quarter of this year, equivalent to its entire budget for 2020, which amounted to 523,400 billion pesos.

The Mexican oil company stated that most of this loss is due to the impact on the exchange rate, where the company recorded an exchange loss of 469 billion pesos.

It was said that containment measures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic also influenced the fall in the price of the Mexican export mix, lower reference prices of gasoline and diesel, as well as the decline in sales.

In this context, Pemex presented a plan to reduce its budget by 40.5 billion pesos in the part of Exploration and Production, adding 5 billion pesos to other business lines.

They also reviewed the Annual Program of Austerity in Expenditure and Use of Resources for the Fiscal Year 2020, which indicated an adjustment of 93.7 billion pesos in personal operation services, according to data from the newspaper El Universal.

San Miguel Times Newsroom



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