It’s an explosive activity that threatens the economy, residents and the environment. Criminal gangs in Mexico are drilling illegal taps into pipelines to sell oil on the black market. And Mexico’s oil companies are, consequently, losing billions.
Two of Mexico’s most ruthless drug cartels are accused of stealing more than a billion dollars of oil just this year alone. They reportedly did it by tapping into some 2,500 oil pipelines run by Pemex, Mexico’s national oil company. Pemex estimates it is losing 5,000 – 10,000 barrels of oil a day.
This thriving, black market oil business has led to widespread contamination of local water supplies and claimed dozens of lives. It is also responsible for several explosions at oil pipeline sites and refineries across the country. In fact, these oil crimes are now thwarting Mexico’s efforts to attract international energy companies needed to extract its shale gas reserves.
Correspondent Mike Kirsch travelled to Monterey, in the northern part of the country, a hotbed for illegal oil trafficking, to investigate the “slick” operations of Mexico’s Oil Thieves.