16:28 GMT +319 January 2019
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    The PEMEX logotype on the tower of the drilling tower of La Muralla IV exploration oil rig, operated by Mexican company Grupo R and working for Mexico's state-owned oil company PEMEX

    Mexican Military Takes Control of Pemex Facilities - Reports

    © AFP 2018 / OMAR TORRES
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    MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) - Mexican military took control of the facilities of the state oil company Pemex in the city of Culiacan and Salamanca oil refinery in the centre of the country amid gasoline supply disruptions, the Sinembargo newspaper reported on Monday.

    In Salamanca, the military checked all refinery employees before letting them enter or leave the plant, and also conducted an inspection inside the plant. According to media reports, employees of the plant were banned from using mobile phones and other means of communication in order to avoid possible contacts with the so-called huachicoleros — criminals specializing in illegal taps into pipelines to steal fuel.

    In Culiacan, the troops took Pemex facilities under operational control to prevent fuel theft, the newspaper noted.

    It is assumed that the military will ensure the safety of the plant in Salamanca for at least one month, El Universal newspaper reported.

    According to Mexican media, supply disruptions at gasoline stations or the complete lack of fuel were seen in six states at once. At the same time, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador only speaks about changing the fuel delivery system to prevent theft of fuel from pipelines. Pemex also said that there was enough gasoline in Mexico, explaining that several large underground gas pipelines were blocked to fight illegal taps. Now the fuel is delivered by tanker, which led to a decrease in supplies.

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    According to the fuel theft prevention plan presented earlier by Obrador, the Mexican federal forces take control of the Pemex monitoring system. As Obrador stated, only 20 percent of stolen fuel is due to illegal taps, the rest is stolen by the company's management. According to the president, the theft of fuel cost the state-owned company 60 billion pesos (about $3 billion) last year.

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    gasoline, military, Pemex, Mexico
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