A fuel shortage in Jalisco is the result of damage caused by Hurricane Willa and Tropical Storm Vicente as well as the closure of a major pipeline due to illegal taps, according to a petroleum industry union leader.
Around 500 of 934 gas stations in the state have been affected.
Pablo González Córdova, president of the Mexican Association of Gas Station Owners (Amegas), explained that the two storms had affected the states of Colima and Veracruz, both of which supply fuel to Jalisco.
Officials from the state oil company Pemex said last week that poor weather conditions brought by Willa and Vicente made it impossible to unload fuel from ships at some ports, including Manzanillo and Tuxpan.
The closure of the main pipeline that transports fuel to the capital city of Guadalajara from the refinery in Salamanca, Guanajuato, is another factor contributing to the fuel shortage, González said.
“In Jalisco, we receive fuel from the Salamanca refinery but for some time that [method] hasn’t been working. [The refinery] sends us the product through the 16-inch Salamanca-Guadalajara pipeline . . . That pipeline isn’t working because of illegal taps,” he said.
Petroleum pipeline theft, perpetrated by gangs of thieves known as huachicoleros, costs Pemex 30 billion pesos a year, company CEO Carlos Treviño said earlier this year.
González said that fuel tankers from Manzanillo, Colima, had made deliveries to Jalisco to offset the shortage but they were not sufficient to meet demand as many Guadalajara residents sought to take advantage of the Day of the Dead holiday to travel.
Fuel supply should return to normal by tomorrow, he explained, because Pemex is currently sending additional tanker trucks to the state.
Source: El Economista (sp)