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Mexico says fuel theft cut by 90pc in February



By Argus

Petroleumworld 02 22 2019

Theft of refined products in Mexico dropped to 8,000 b/d in February from roughly 81,000 b/d in November after two months of an aggressive government campaign, the head of state-owned Pemex said today.

About 18,000 b/d of mostly gasoline and diesel were stolen in January, chief executive Octavio Romero said.

This would be a dramatic turnaround from years of increasing fuel theft in Mexico.

The government has also frozen Ps925mn ($48mn) in 226 bank accounts in Mexico and over $738,000 in offshore accounts, said Santiago Nieto, head of the finance ministry's intelligence unit.

Mexico's government started intense anti-fuel theft tactics on 21 December that included militarizing Pemex fuel facilities, shutting fuel theft-prone pipelines and moving much distribution to slower tank trucks. The efforts lead to widespread fuel shortages at retail stations in central Mexico which have since mostly abated.

These efforts have reduced the cost of fuel theft by Ps7.8bn ($403mn) so far and could lower losses by Ps48-50bn in all of 2019, Romero said.

The anti-fuel theft plan included the purchase of 671 trucks to deliver refined products across the country when pipelines are shut because of illegal tapping.



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