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A police officer talks to a fuel truck driver in Mexico City A police officer talks to a fuel truck driver in Mexico City 

Mexico suffering from acute petrol shortage

Mexico is suffering an acute gasoline crisis, after the government shut down pipelines to combat widespread siphoning theft by organized crime.

By James Blears

Mexico's new President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has shut down gasoline pipelines, because drug cartels are tapping in and siphoning vast off amounts to illegally sell, costing the Mexican economy billions of dollars. 

Alternative transportation via road by fuel tankers and by rail is far slower, and has caused acute shortages in ten states, including the area around Mexico City.

Queues are stretching kilometers day and night to gasoline stations, as frustrated motorists are waiting for hours to buy petrol.

Meanwhile, fifteen ocean tankers carrying more than seven million barrels of imported gasoline are bottlenecked in ports with more on the way. 

Mexico's Energy Minister Rocio Nahle says she has no information about this. But she admits transportation by road is slower.

President Lopez Obrador says Mexico doeshave enough fuel. However, the infrastructure in Mexico, especially in refineries which have not been updated in years, is failing.

The gasoline output of National Petroleum company, PEMEX, fell thirty-three percent between January and November last year. The outlook for this year is looking even bleaker.

13 January 2019, 16:47