HomeNewsBriefMexico State Oil Company Loses 17,000 Gallons per Hour to Theft
BRIEF

Mexico State Oil Company Loses 17,000 Gallons per Hour to Theft

MEXICO / 31 AUG 2012 BY GEOFFREY RAMSEY EN

Criminal syndicates in Mexico stole more than 1.8 million barrels of oil from national oil company Pemex in the first six months of 2012, an increase of 18 percent compared to the previous year.

According to an August 10 report published on its website, Pemex announced that its pipeline systems have been "practically taken over by organized crime and armed groups," who steal crude oil in order to sell it on both the domestic and international markets.

Mexico's El Diario calculated that the 1.8 million barrels stolen in the first half of 2012 alone amounted to an average of more than 64,500 liters (some 17,000 gallons) of oil per hour.

The company registered 824 instances of theft during this period, with the states of Veracruz and Sinaloa seeing the most incidents. Tamaulipas, Sonora and Nuevo Leon also saw significant levels of oil theft. Some 111 people were charged with stealing oil in Mexico this year.

InSight Crime Analysis

Mexico's largest criminal organizations are increasingly looking to oil theft as an alternative source of income. While this has traditionally been a small scale operation, in recent years criminal groups like the Zetas and Sinaloa Cartel have begun stealing massive amounts of oil, often selling it to refineries in the United States through intermediaries.

The crime is an attractive business for these groups for several reasons. Because the authorities do not have the resources to monitor the thousands of kilometers of pipelines in the country, oil can be illegally siphoned at relatively low risk. Additionally, the large bureaucracy associated with Pemex represents an easy target for corruption, as InSight Crime has pointed out.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

EL MENCHO / 25 MAY 2022

The CJNG’s reign as Mexico’s most dominant and ruthless cartel may be showing some signs of wear.

HOMICIDES / 24 MAR 2021

A bloody ambush on a police unit in the state of Mexico, in which thirteen officials were shot dead, is…

HAITI / 18 NOV 2021

The relief provided by Haiti’s gangs finally releasing their chokehold on the country’s oil supply may only be temporary.

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Escaping Barrio 18

27 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an investigation charting the story of Desafío, a 28-year-old Barrio 18 gang member who is desperate to escape gang life. But there’s one problem: he’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…