HomeNewsBriefOil and Gas Theft in Mexico Doubled in 2013
BRIEF

Oil and Gas Theft in Mexico Doubled in 2013

MEXICO / 10 MAY 2013 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

Hydrocarbon theft in Mexico so far this year has nearly doubled in comparison with 2012, with the worst hit zones corresponding to some of Mexico's drug war hotspots.

In the first four months of 2013, Mexican state oil company Pemex recorded 730 illegal siphons, in comparison to 377 last year, reported La Jornada. Of those siphons, 666 targeted pipelines operated by Pemex's oil refining arm, 40 its gas and petro-chemicals arm and 24 from Pemex Exploration and Production.

The worst hit states were Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Sinaloa, the state of Mexico and Jalisco. Authorities have arrested 48 people for siphoning, and 180 more for transporting illegal fuel, so far this year.

Between 2011 and 2012, the number of illegal siphons detected jumped 23.2 percent, from 1,416 to 1,744. Pemex attributed the rise predominantly to a growing interest in oil and gas theft among Mexico's organized crime groups, but also to advances in detecting siphons.

InSight Crime Analysis

In recent year, oil theft has gone from being characterized by petty theft and corruption within Pemex, to a large scale criminal operation carried out by major organized crime players, in particular the Zetas.

Since the drug cartels got involved in the trade, recorded theft has been rising quickly, and appears to be still accelerating, suggesting the multi-million dollar trade is an increasingly important source of revenue for the groups involved.

The idea that this acceleration is being fuelled by organized crime groups is supported by the geography of the trade. Of the states identified by Pemex, all but the State of Mexico have heavy drug cartel presence and the Zetas, who are behind much of the trade are believed to be present in all of them.

While oil remains the easiest fuel to steal and resell, the number of siphons targeting Pemex's natural gas pipelines shows how criminal groups have also expanded into other hydrocarbon markets.

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

COVID AND CRIME / 1 SEP 2021

The Mexican government is highlighting a record number of remittances sent back to the country by citizens living in the…

EL MENCHO / 14 MAY 2021

In some regions of Mexico, family members who came up empty-handed this Mother's Day were bailed out by the Jalisco…

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 24 AUG 2022

A new rule in the United States seeks to stem the flow of ghost guns, bought in parts online and…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…