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Mexico's oil industry under siege from drug cartels
With thousands of miles of pipeline stretching over far-flung regions of Tamaulipas, stopping oil theft is proving hard to do. Mexico has taken steps to rein in the cartels, putting military leaders in charge of the state's security and sending in soldiers, marines and federal police to patrol key cities.
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In this Sept. 7, 2014 photo, new pipelines that will carry gas from Texas to Mexico, eventually reaching the city of Guanajuato, are laid underground near General Bravo, in Nuevo Leon state, Mexico. So far this year, thieves across Mexico have drilled so many illegal taps into state-owned pipelines, siphoning off gas and oil, that they're on pace to set a new annual record. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

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In this Sept. 5, 2014 photo, weapons allegedly seized from gangs by the military are displayed at a military base in Ciudad Mier, Tamaulipas state, Mexico. Two rival gangs, the Zetas and the Gulf cartel, which use Tamaulipas as a route to ferry drugs and migrants to the United States have diversified their business, selling stolen gas and crude to refineries in Texas or to gas stations on either side of the border. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

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This Sept. 5, 2014 photo shows the interior of an armored vehicle, allegedly seized from a gang, at a military base in Ciudad Mier, Tamaulipas state, Mexico. The military says they confiscate vehicles abandoned by their drivers after armed fights among cartels or with the military, so that gangs cannot reuse vehicles parts. Two rival gangs, the Zetas and the Gulf cartel, have diversified their business, selling stolen gas and crude to refineries in Texas or to gas stations on either side of the border. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

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In this Sept. 6, 2014 photo, a soldier enters a bullet-riddled home covered by the initials of the Gulf Cartel (CDG) and Zetas (Z) in Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas state, Mexico. According to the soldiers, the home was destroyed in a firefight between government security forces and the Gulf Cartel. As Mexico prepares to develop rich shale fields along the Gulf Coast, and attract foreign investors, the country will be challenged to tame the brutal drug cartels that rule the region. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

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In this Sept. 5, 2014 photo, a soldier points out the border area, shared by the states of Texas and Tamaulipas, under gang influence on a map at a military base in Ciudad Mier, Tamaulipas state, Mexico. As Mexico prepares to develop rich shale fields along the Gulf Coast, and attract foreign investors, the country will be challenged to tame the brutal drug cartels that rule the region and steal billions of dollars worth of oil from pipelines. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

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In this Sept. 5, 2014 photo, soldiers patrol the banks of the Rio Grande on the outskirts of Ciudad Mier, Tamaulipas state, Mexico. Mexico has sent its soldiers, marines and federal police to bring Tamaulipas state under control, as it prepares to develop rich shale fields along the Gulf Coast, and attract foreign investors. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

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In this Sept. 5, 2014 photo, a sticker of the Virgin Mary that reads in Spanish "For life" decorates the window of an armored vehicle allegedly seized from a gang at a military base in Ciudad Mier, Tamaulipas state, Mexico. The military says they confiscate vehicles that are abandoned by their drivers after armed fights among cartels or with the military, so that gangs cannot reuse vehicles parts. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

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In this Sept. 5, 2014 photo, military clothing and a bat, allegedly seized from Zeta cartel members, are shown to the press at a military base in Ciudad Mier, in Tamaulipas state, Mexico. The bat reads in Spanish "Go Z," which stands for "Zetas." According to the military, the bat was used internally by the cartel to punish its members. Two rival gangs, the Zetas and the Gulf cartel, which use Tamaulipas as a route to ferry drugs and migrants to the United States have diversified their business, selling stolen gas and crude to refineries in Texas or to gas stations on either side of the border. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

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In this Sept. 11, 2014 photo, oil workers from Mexico's Pemex, Petroleos Mexicanos, watch the flow of fuel from a monitoring station in Mexico City. Pemex is installing more automated pipeline shut-off valves operated remotely from this control room, to reduce the spills often caused by illegal taps, and to avoid having to send workers out to unpopulated, dangerous areas to turn off valves manually. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

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In this Sept. 5, 2014 photo, a soldier inspects a truck at a checkpoint outside of Ciudad Mier, in Tamaulipas state, Mexico. Mexico has sent its soldiers, marines and federal police to bring Tamaulipas state under control, as it prepares to develop rich shale fields along the Gulf Coast, and attract foreign investors. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

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In this Sept. 5, 2014 photo, a soldier patrols from the top of a moving vehicle as residents walk in the street in Ciudad Mier, Tamaulipas state, Mexico. Mexico has sent its soldiers, marines and federal police to bring Tamaulipas state under control, as it prepares to develop rich shale fields along the Gulf Coast, and attract foreign investors. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

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In this Sept. 6, 2014 photo, an oil marker from Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, marks the site of an underground pipe system, so as to avert residents from digging into the ground for construction, etc. on the outskirts of Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas state, Mexico. However, the markers also alert those looking to siphon off oil to sell on the black market. More than a fifth of the illegal taps have occurred in Tamaulipas, which has Mexicos largest fields of recoverable shale gas. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

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In this Sept. 5, 2014 photo, an armored truck riddled with bullet holes sits at a military base in Ciudad Mier, in Tamaulipas state, Mexico. The military says they confiscate vehicles that are abandoned by their drivers after armed fights among cartels or with the military, so that gangs cannot reuse vehicles parts. The energy reform wont be viable if we arent successful ... in solving the problem of crime and impunity, said Mexican Senator David Penchyna, who heads the Senate Energy Commission. The biggest challenge we Mexicans have, and I say it without shame, is Tamaulipas. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

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In this Sept. 5, 2014 photo, a soldier stands on the banks of the Rio Grande on the outskirts of Ciudad Mier, in Tamaulipas state, Mexico. Mexico has sent its soldiers, marines and federal police to bring Tamaulipas state under control, as it prepares to develop rich shale fields along the Gulf Coast, and attract foreign investors. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

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In this Sept. 5, 2014 photo, a military style cap decorated with a letter "Z," which stands for "Zetas," and was allegedly seized by soldiers, is shown to the press at the military base in Ciudad Mier, in Tamaulipas state, Mexico. Arrests and violence have taken out so many key Zetas leaders that cartel members have taken to camping out in the bush, dragooning Central American migrants into their ranks. They live off the land and change campsites constantly to avoid detection. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

Mexico's oil industry under siege from drug cartels

With thousands of miles of pipeline stretching over far-flung regions of Tamaulipas, stopping oil theft is proving hard to do. Mexico has taken steps to rein in the cartels, putting military leaders in charge of the state's security and sending in soldiers, marines and federal police to patrol key cities.

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