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The president, left, and Pemex boss Romero speaking at this morning's press conference. The president, left, and Pemex boss Romero speaking at this morning's press conference.

Pemex chief highlights major reduction in daily fuel theft numbers

The daily average last year was 56,000 barrels. In January it was 18,000 and in February 8,000

President López and Pemex CEO Octavio Romero said this morning that fuel theft has been slashed by more than 90% since November and projected major savings as a result.

Romero told reporters that the president’s anti-theft strategy had brought theft down from a daily average of 56,000 barrels last year to 15,600 barrels since the strategy was implemented.

In November the average peaked at 81,000 barrels stolen daily, he said. The first 20 days of December saw a daily average of 74,000, but after shutting off the pipelines from December 21 to 31 there was a decrease to 23,000 barrels a day.

“In January, an average of 18,000 barrels of fuel were stolen daily, and so far in February the average is 8,000,” Romero said. “In this sense, the results have been very evident and positive.”

The president was even more upbeat at his morning press conference and thanked citizens who backed his strategy and waited in long lines during the period when gas shortages triggered a crisis in many states for residents and businesses alike.

“Despite resistance, fuel distribution has been normalized throughout the country . . . . Those who tried to destabilize us didn’t achieve their goal.”

He also thanked the armed forces for their essential role.

Defense Secretary Crescencio Sandoval said since December 21 the army has thwarted 1,260 fuel thefts. Navy chief José Rafael Ojeda said that four major shipping operations linked to fuel theft had also been stopped and their cargo seized.

Security Secretary Alfonso Durazo explained that 175 people have been detained for stealing fuel since the new administration took office December 1.

Romero estimated that 7.8 billion pesos (US $404,000) has already been recuperated through the strategy. The president projected that long term the anti-fuel theft project will save 50 billion pesos (US $2.6 billion) by the end of his six-year term.

Source: Reforma (sp)

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