The Pol-A platform of the state oil company, PEMEX, 70 kilometers off the coast of Campeche, Mexico, in a 2014 photo. Susana Gonzalez (Bloomberg)
Pemex oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico are being beset by violence.
In the middle of this month, a group of ten armed men carried out another robbery in Sonda Campeche, stealing equipment, tools, materials and other items from an oil platform operated by the Eyva firm at the service of the state oil company.
The company has not yet confirmed the total amount of the assault or the modus operandi, however,
reported that six workers were threatened with long and short weapons pointed at their heads during the attack.
This robbery is added to an armed assault that occurred last May when a command of at least five people illegally boarded the offshore support vessel Crest Tarasco, of the Protexa company, which works for Pemex, and stole tools and equipment from communication valued at more than 1.5 million pesos.
Local media reported that in less than 50 minutes the assailants took electric polishers, extension cords, cables and other valuables and in early 2022, workers from the KU-S platform of the Ku Processing Center, within the Ku Maloob Zaap field , reported that a group of bandits took twenty autonomous breathing equipment, communication radios and tools, a mutiny with an approximate value of more than one million pesos.
Luis Miguel Labardini, partner of the law firm specializing in the energy sector, Marcos y Asociados, warns that what is happening in the oil industry is a reflection of what is happening in the country in terms of security and the rule of law.
“The equipment that is stolen from the platforms, that equipment appears in Ciudad del Carmen (Campeche) and the subcontractors or contractors, without realizing it, buy stolen equipment, that vicious circle is what must be broken.
As long as there is no market for stolen equipment, there is no way for this to be a business”, he settles.
For the specialist in the energy sector, the armed commandos that approach the offshore platforms know perfectly well the value of this type of merchandise for the sector.
“Fortunately, there has been no extreme violence that has led to the death of the crew members and here are Pemex and the contracting companies, alike, and we must consider the possibility that there are people within the organizations that give the information of where there are the teams”, he refers.
For more than three years, legislators in the country have presented various initiatives to urge the Secretary of the Navy (Semar) to reinforce surveillance and patrolling actions in the seas, specifically, in the Sonda de Campeche.
“These thieves seize equipment, materials and valuables, processed or crude hydrocarbons and the number of assailants and speedboats with which they carry out their misdeeds is increasing, as well as their level of aggressiveness and violence. ”, refers to one of the opinions presented in the Senate.
The document also refers to the activities of other armed groups, which approach coastal fishermen on the high seas to deprive them of boats, motors, fishing gear, merchandise and belongings, as well as the theft of boats docked at docks, which affects an activity that contributes to the local economy, food security and the income of hundreds of families.
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