Pamex adjusts logistics to combat $3 billion/yr in stolen fuel; shortages occur across Mexico
In an effort to reduce gasoline theft, State oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pamex) has changed their distribution methods, resulting in shortages and long lines at refueling stations across 6 states. Fuel theft in the country had risen from around $500,000 USD per year in the early 2000s to around $3 billion USD in 2018. By transporting gasoline by truck instead of through pipelines, Pamex is seeking to make it more difficult to steal, as the majority of theft comes through tapped pipelines. President Obrador, in office since December 1, has announced that theft has been reduced to 36 truckloads of fuel per day, down from an average of 1,000. This new system has been criticized for being inefficient and costly, and Obrador’s political opponents have compared the shortages to the widespread lack of basic goods in Mexico during the 1970s. These accusations are politically powerful, as the previous president’s changes in gasoline policy was one of the causes in his loss of popularity and eventual removal from office.