The state oil company has confirmed that although the number of illegal pipeline taps has increased since December, the volume of stolen fuel has declined significantly in the same period.
Pemex CEO Octavio Romero Oropeza explained that the average amount of fuel stolen between December 1 and 20 was 74,200 barrels a day. But the federal government’s anti-fuel theft strategy brought the average daily volume down to 11,200 barrels between December 21 and April 21, he said.
The strategy has included the deployment of military personnel to safeguard Pemex facilities and pipelines.
The next step will be protecting pipelines by pouring a layer of concrete layer over them. Pemex has begun that project on 15 kilometers of the Tuxpan-Azcapotzalco and Tuxpan-Tula pipelines, and will carry on with the pipelines most susceptible to theft.
Romero also reported on the progress of the government’s purchase of tanker trucks, which was initiated after severe gasoline shortages that followed the temporary closing of pipelines earlier this year. That too was part of the strategy to combat petroleum theft.
The Pemex chief said 428 of the 612 new trucks are now operating and the remainder will be on the road by the end of the month.
The federal government said in January it had signed deals worth US $92 million to purchase 671 trucks. It wasn’t explained what happened to the missing 59.
Romero also said fuel supplies are at normal levels.