At least 150 gas stations, out of an estimated total of 510 in Puebla, are currently without fuel said National Organization of Oil Exporters (Onexpo) president Rafael Zorrilla Alanís.
In a press conference, he explained that those that do have fuel have inconsistent service. However, service should return to normal by next week.
He attributed the lack of supply to low production and fuel theft. When fuel is stolen, it takes up to two weeks for stations to be fully repaired and service to return to normal.
Zorrilla Alanís added that with price hikes, the purchase of stolen fuel is more common.
Onexpo vice president Adalberto Baigts Montaño said that the fuel price increase is due to the Special Tax on Production and Services (IEPS), which gas stations now have to pay. He said that if this tax did not exist, the price per liter would be 10 pesos ($0.48).
Regarding the possibility of importing gasoline, which could contribute to a price reduction, Onexpo International Affairs delegate Fernando Álvarez Lazo said that the risks associated with transportation and pipelines reduces the feasibility of importing. He added that this alternative, for now, is only feasible for northern states.
“The government must take better care of the pipelines; many foreign companies do not want to enter [Mexico] due to the weakness of the pipelines.”
Gas station owners have noted that the majority of clandestine stations lie along the route from Esperanza to San Martín Texmelucan.
There have yet to be any citizen blockades of service stations.
PATRICIA GUTIÉRREZ RODRÍGUEZ