From the Field
Mexico anti-theft plan causes fuel shortages
MEXICO CITY, January 8, 2019 – Several states in Mexico are experiencing fuel shortages following the implementation of the new administration’s strategy to combat fuel theft, international media reported Monday.
Distribution and supply delays have resulted from Pemex’s increased use of tanker trucks to transport fuel following the temporary shutdown of infrastructure including the critical Salamanca-Leon pipeline, Reuters reported. The closures were intended to cut off supplies to Mexico’s fuel thieves, known locally as huachicoleros.
“We have enough petrol, and there is no shortage problem,” President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said during a news conference, as cited by local newspaper El Comercio. “What we are taking care of is distribution.”
Also on Monday, 900 military personnel were added to the already 4,000 positioned at around 60 key facilities such as storage and dispatch terminals, distribution centres, refuelling stations and Mexico’s six refineries. Increased surveillance is aimed at deterring fuel theft, which amounted to 43,000 bpd at the end of December.