(ANSA) – MEXICO CITY – The Campeche Sound, a region of the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of the state of the same name and that of Tabasco, which hosts most of the country’s oil wealth, was placed as an area Top priority by the Ministry of the Navy.
The cause of this armor is that there are more and more pirate attacks against facilities for the extraction of crude oil on sea platforms, according to official sources.
Between 2016 and 2017 alone, 142% of crimes in the region where 67% of the oil produced by Mexico is extracted, according to federal authorities.
The government decided to grant additional funds for 230 million pesos (about 12 million dollars) to strengthen security in that region, both for air and water surveillance.
An agreement published at the end of last month by the Official Gazette of the Federation orders restrictions on “all types of activity” in the area, “except that required for oil exploration and production.”
Wells, platforms and other facilities or ships that are located outside the defined areas will have an individual safety zone of 2,500 meters radius around them, according to the decree.
Safety measures include the hydrocarbon export points of the Dos Bocas (Tabasco) ports, where it is intended to build a new refinery, as well as Cayo Arcas, Yúum K’ak, Naab and Takuntah, where it is considered an area of Security of 5.50 meters of radius around it.
It is foreseen with these measures “to preserve the maneuvers of driving, mooring, undoing and departure of the tankers that access these facilities”, it is indicated.
In accordance with the legal provision, only in cases of emergency will access to safety zones be allowed to all vessels.
In this case, the incursion of ships destined to save some human life, to protect the oil infrastructure and to attend some contingency of natural disaster, prior official authorization of the port captaincy will be allowed.
For airplanes that need to make an emergency incursion in the area they will have to use a specific radio frequency and may descend to a minimum altitude of 10,000 feet.
Ships and civil aircraft traveling in the immediate vicinity of safety zones must have an automatic identification system that transmits at all times.
In addition, fishing vessels will have to have a satellite location and monitoring system.
The Navy will be authorized to deploy warships and artillery helicopters to prevent pirate incursion.
Modern privateers usually enter up to 130 kilometers offshore to attack facilities of the government oil company Pemex and steal tools, machines, copper wire, fire extinguishers and even pressure control consoles and modules from wells.
Criminals often carry high-powered weapons, subdue workers and steal what they can.
Outlaw bands offshore assault marine exploitation areas measuring 50 to 130 meters high aboard small motorboats.
With an incredible audacity and an unprecedented ability to climb the high towers on which the platforms rise, thieves seize tools, machines, copper wire, fire extinguishers and even modules and pressure consoles from the wells.
Margarita Sánchez, former leader of the oil union in Campeche, said the attacks “are increasing.”
“The assaults are committed by a kind of pirates who, with small motor boats arrive heavily armed to the platforms and put workers at risk putting their lives at risk,” said the congresswoman. The Navy Ministry revealed last August that at least 21 incidents have been documented on 11 platforms between December 2016 and January 2018 by “criminals who pretend to be fishermen.”
Source: El Periodico de Mexico