Conversion claims by Pemex, Mexico's state-owned petroleum company, against a number of petrochemical companies, including Yetter Coleman’s client, ConocoPhillips, were dismissed on May 30 by Judge Sim Lake in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas in Houston. The ruling can be read here.
The case involved claims that Mexican drug cartels were stealing condensate from Pemex and then selling it through various intermediaries into the United States. Pemex alleged that some of the condensate reached major U.S. petrochemical companies and that the actions of those companies in buying the allegedly stolen condensate constituted conversion.
Judge Lake ruled for the defendants on two independent grounds: (1) the statute of limitations bars the claims and (2) Pemex could not reasonably trace any amounts of allegedly stolen condensate to the defendants.