Mexico City, Mexico — The theft of LP gas is costing Pemex millions per month, the company says, with theft rising 30 percent.
Pemex says that theft of gas by huachicoleros or people dedicated to the illegal activity of stealing combustible products, has increased 30 percent. The company says that theft in the states of Puebla and Tlaxcala are costing the Mexican company 40 million peso each month.
According to Pemex, there was an increase of 120 percent in the theft of LP gas between 2006 and 2017, who then turn around and sell it to locals for 25 or 30 percent lower than market price. This has generated losses for Pemex in the order of 40 million peso per month.
The company says that huachicoleros tap the pipelines at night when they drill into the pipe and install a system to stop the gas from escaping. They then install hoses to abstract the gas and sell it.
They say that 13 municipalities in the state of Puebla are the most-known for pipeline theft which include El Palmar de Bravo, Quecholac, Tepeaca, Temalchalco, Los Reyes de Juárez, Ciudad Serdán and San Salvador.
Theft of fuels from Pemex lines has been an ongoing problem for years as huachicoleros continue to tap lines and steal fuel.