This war raging through Tamaulipas must have the nervous attention of oil & gas interests on both sides of the border by now as it encompasses the Burgos Basin and major Pemex resources and activity which account for 25% of Mexico’s annual energy production.
In October Pemex reached a production record of 1.6bn cf/d of gas in the Burgos Basin in , a volume it maintained until the end of the year. It plans to invest heavily to maintain and increase gas production from the area, with the aim of reaching 1.8bn cf/d in 2011.–Petroleum Economist
Recent Items to Consider
- Feb 18– The Attorney-General for Special Investigation into Organized Crime (SIEDO) reports that military units seized more than 4 tons of marijuana at installations of Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) in Reynosa, Tamaulipas. The discovery was made after Pemex security alerted officials that armed men were removing Pemex employees from a fuel supply station. In response a Mexican Naval helicopter was dispatched to the scene but retreated after receiving heavy weapons fire from the ground. When military units arrived on the ground they found the weed loaded on trucks abandoned at the site.
- Feb 19–A PEMEX trailer carrying 18 tons of explosives is stolen, hijacked on its way from Torreon, Coahula to Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, according to the Attorney General’s office in Tamaulipas. The truck was found abandoned with the driver missing. Federal police and military units were placed on alert and began searching for the missing trailer and its cargo– Seismic Booster Pentolite, a TNT PETN mixture used as a “seismic booster.” The next day Federal Police located the trailers with the explosives left alongside a highway in Tamaulipas. No one was apprehended. (La Cronica de Hoy)
- Feb 27– Pemex reports the discovery of three major taps into their pipelines in Tamualipas–two were 12″ in diameter and another illegal duct measuring 24 “.
- Feb 28 – Sempra Pipelines & Storage, a unit of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), today announced that it will acquire the Mexican pipeline and gas infrastructure assets of El Paso Corp. (NYSE: EP) for $300 million. The acquisition involves El Paso’s wholly owned natural gas pipeline and compression assets in the Mexican border state of Sonora. The transaction also includes El Paso’s 50-percent interest in a joint venture with PEMEX, the Mexican state-owned oil company. The joint venture operates two natural gas pipelines and a propane system in northern Mexico. The joint venture with PEMEX owns and operates: the 23-mile, 24-inch Samalayuca natural gas pipeline and Gloria a Dios compressor station in Chihuahua that supply natural gas from the U.S. to various Mexican power plants; the 70-mile, 36-inch San Fernando natural gas pipeline in the state of Tamaulipas; and the 114-mile, 12-inch pipeline that transports liquid propane from the Burgos production area to a delivery facility near the city of Monterrey.–(Oil and Gas Online)
- March 1-- Pemex reports that at 8:16 pm they received an anonymous phone call on the Central Emergency 066, threatening to explode a bomb in the premises of the refinery “Francisco I. Madero”. Operational staff vacated the building and security was tightened at all entrances to the refinery. Navy special forces of Mexico, Intelligence of the 15th Infantry Battalion and staff of Physical Security of Petroleos Mexicanos, searched the facilities and found no device. (Hoy Tamaulipas)
Tamualipas is home base for Los Zetas which has effectively penetrated PEMEX security and middle management in that state and in Veracruz, most notably the $46 m theft of condensate in 2007 that was later sold to Texas energy brokers. For new readers, see extensive NGT posts on all that beginning in July here…here…here…here...here…here…here..and here .
There is suspicion floating that the hijacking of the explosives served as both a warning and means to extort ransom from PEMEX for their return. No one has been arrested.