Did you know that the Mexican drug cartels are making huge profits off the theft and sale of stolen gas and oil? According to various news outlets such as, Bloomberg, Vice, and The Guardian, its a very lucrative endeavor. Heres the deal. Mexico owns Petroleos Mexicanos, otherwise know as Pemex. Pemex is state owned petroleum company involved with everything from fuel production to oil field exploration. Pemex is currently having an issue with the cartels stealing fuel from their pipes, facility’s and any where they can exploit a weakness in security.
Hitting the fully loaded distribution facility’s is a pretty cut and dry operation. Pull up, load up, roll out. The operations that intrest me are the ones where the tap directly into piplines. Allegedly it takes less than $8,000 worth of equipment to get started. They then dig down to a section of pipe and fit it with an illegal valve. This can sometimes cause massive spills or explosions. When it works however, the cartel has a direct line to the gas until the tap is found.
As you can deduce using some simple economic theories, this is a major win for the cartels. Their ability to steal massive amounts of gas causes the price of legal gas to go up, which in turn causes their gas to look even better.
Pemex has introduced many countermeasures in response to this. From piping unrefined gas, to armed government troops patrolling sites. None of which have completely stopped the cartels from doing what they want when they want.
That’s not even mentioning the kidnappings of employees, murders etc. All in all its a very horrific, yet interesting thing to look into. When the cartels look for ways to make money, it seems nothing is off the table.
Now you know.