Armed men take control of natural gas well in Mexico

By Phaedra Friend Troy

According to a report from Reuters, a group of armed men have taken control of a natural gas well in northeast Mexico.

Local media is reporting that an armed gang has been in control of the natural gas well for some two weeks. Although Pemex has not confirmed the report, the local media said that a number of workers from the well site have been kidnapped.

Since May 23, the criminal gang has been barricading the Gigante Uno liquefied natural gas well in the Burgos basin of Nueva Ciudad Guerrero near the US border. The gang has been stealing natural gas condensate, and the Mexican army has been unable to penetrate the blockade, reports the press.

Just this week, Pemex filed suit against a number of US oil producers in a Houston federal court for knowingly buying stolen natural gas condensate from thieves. In the court filings, Pemex claims that since 2006, some $300 million in petroleum products have been smuggled across the US border in tanker trucks that have been hijacked.

Northern Mexico is experiencing extremely escalated violence in connection to drug trafficking across the border to the US. Reuters reports that 23,000 people have been killed since 2006 because of these criminal gangs.

Stealing oil, natural gas and petroleum products has proven a major money-maker for these gangs.

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