• Mexico plagued by fuel theft by drug cartels

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

Mexico is experiencing a rising wave of crime related to fuel theft, as Reuters reports. Drug cartels have splintered following the government’s successful efforts to topple cartel heads, and the splintering has made surviving groups keener for new sources of revenue. Last year, over US$1 billion of fuel was stolen, a sizeable amount in proportion to the annual US$52 billion revenue of the state-owned oil company, Pemex. There have been around 10,000 taps of pipelines, and the rising problem is making investors shy away, causing a knock-on problem for the industry. More tragically, refinery and other industry workers have been murdered and subjected to other forms of violence, and to date it seems that no government action has been effective. Whether over time the government manages to gain control over the problem remains to be seen.