Pipeline theft in Mexico rose 52% in 2015, according to an Associated Press report.
The spike came after a43.7% annual increase in 2014, according to asustainability report by Pemex, Mexico’s state-owned oil company.
And while the northeast section of the country — the site of competition between the vicious Zetas and Gulf cartels — was believed to have the most theft, research by El Daily Post indicates that pipelines in central Mexico saw even more theft in recent years.
“Clearly, both Pemex and the federal government need to keep up the efforts to mitigate the infrastructure’s vulnerability and strengthen the security forces’ capabilities,” El Daily Post’s Dwight Dyer writes.
Data on oil losses given to El Daily Post by the Mexican government earlier this year revealed that a pipeline running through Zetas territory had lost 3.86 million barrels of oil between 2009 and 2015. Circumstantial evidence suggests that much of the oil was likely lost to criminal activity.
Documents released by the Mexican government in early 2014 revealed that oil theft affected every Mexican state, with Los Zetas territory in Tamaulipas and Veracruz states experiencing the most rapid growth.
In Tamaulipas state, in northeast Mexico close to Gulf of Mexico oil production, authorities “found that a cell of the deadly Zetas gang was organizing oil robbery and transporting the crude into Texas,” journalist Ioan Grillo reported in 2011.
A new batch of data given to El Daily Post by the government, however,shows that over the same period losses at a pipeline running from a refinery in Salamanca, Guanajuato, to a storage facility in Guadalajara reached 5.6 million barrels — 45% more than what was lost at the pipeline cutting through Zetas territory, says Dyer.
Read the Remainder at Business Insider