Mexico’s Pemex to up gasoline imports after refinery fire -source

6/20/2017 Reuters

pemexMexican state oil producer Pemex will import additional gasoline after a major fire last week at its largest refinery that halted production, a company source said on Tuesday.

Pemex is still evaluating the extent of the damage from the fire at the Salina Cruz refinery in the state of Oaxaca and does not know when production will resume, said the source. He did not know how much gasoline Pemex would import.

For over a year Pemex has been searching for investment partners to boost the aging facility’s productivity, but with no takers to date. It has a capacity of 330,000 barrels per day.

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Mexico auctions two-thirds of blocks in shallow water oil tender

6/19/2017 Reuters

Martin Magana, bidding director for the Mexico’s national hydrocarbons commission (CNH) examines documents during an auction of 15 offshore blocks, in Mexico City
Martin Magana, bidding director for the Mexico’s national hydrocarbons commission (CNH) examines documents during an auction of 15 offshore blocks, in Mexico City, Mexico June 19, 2017. REUTERS/Henry Romero

Mexico on Monday auctioned two-thirds of the shallow water oil and gas blocks up for grabs in the latest round of its energy market opening, surpassing the cautious estimates officials made last week.

Italy’s Eni, Colombia’s Ecopetrol and Capricorn Energy, a unit of Edinburgh-based Cairn Energy, were among the companies at the forefront of the bidding for 15 blocks in the southern Gulf of Mexico.

Ten of the 15 blocks were taken up in the auction.

“This is a great result,” Juan Carlos Zepeda, head of the oil industry regulator known as the CNH, told a news conference.

Eni took one of the blocks by itself and two in consortium with other companies. One comprised Capricorn and Mexican oil firm Citla Energy, the other was with Citla alone.

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Mexico’s Emerging Oil Opportunities Are Great

6/18/2017 Forbes 

pena nieto wefWith state nationalism entrenched since 1938, Mexico changed its Constitution and de-regulated the energy sector in 2013. Mexico has subsequently installed perhaps the most comprehensive and complex energy rule changes in any nation, at any time: lifting strict state control over the oil/gas and electricity sectors, hoping for much more foreign investment.

Another Forbes must read here: “Booking Oil Reserves Is An “Attractive Incentive” For Foreign Companies In Mexico, Says U.S.”

This is no small challenge for a nation that has huge opportunities (explained here for oil), but also has a decades-long history of monopoly control and still ranks unacceptably bad in corruption (here). Mexico has the most free-trade agreements in the world, partnered with 44 countries. Forbes has ranked Mexico above all the BRIC nations for “best countries for business.”

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Mexico awaits next oil round with cautious optimism

6/19/2017 Reuters

Oil barrelsMexico is looking forward to its next round of offshore oil auctions on Monday with guarded optimism thanks to robust interest from oil majors for the shallow-water tenders.

On Monday, Mexico auctions 15 oil and gas blocks along the southern coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico in the next stage of the country’s historic opening of the industry following a 2013-14 energy reform.

In December 2013 Congress changed the constitution to end a 75-year production and exploration monopoly enjoyed by state oil company Pemex in a bid to reverse years of declining output.

Among the companies that prequalified to compete are Chevron Corp, ConocoPhillips, Eni SpA, Repsol SA, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Total SA and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC Ltd) .

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Mexico oil sector accidents raise doubts about deep water exploration

6/19/2017 Reuters

Oil Rig 2 by Flickr user tsuda Photo by Flickr user tsudaAs Mexico opens its energy market to more private investment, the country’s drive to exploit untapped deepwater oil riches has raised safety concerns due to mounting accidents that have blotted the country’s safety record.

The biggest Mexican oil refinery Salina Cruz has been offline since a fire broke out at the coastal facility on Wednesday following a tropical storm, the latest in a string of mishaps.

Violent summer storms have visited Mexico for years, but the country has very little experience in deep water drilling, a risky activity still marked by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon well blow out in the northern Gulf of Mexico that killed 11 people and pumped 5 million barrels of oil into the sea. That disaster prompted a rethink of safety measures in the United States.

As a result, U.S. operators now have on permanent standby a so-called capping stack that ultimately sealed the well, while third-party inspectors verify deepwater project safety.

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Fire breaks out at Mexico’s top refinery, 9 people hurt

6/14/2017 Reuters

pemexA major fire broke out at Mexican state oil producer Pemex’s Salina Cruz refinery on Wednesday after a crude spill, injuring nine people and extending the shutdown of the plant into a second day, the company said.

The blaze began in the pump house of Salina Cruz, Mexico’s largest refinery, on Wednesday morning, and the company was working to put it out, a Pemex spokeswoman said.

A Pemex spokesman said the fire had not yet reached the refinery’s nearby massive storage tanks, adding that efforts were under way to prevent that from happening.

Eight of the injured have been released from the hospital, the company said on its Twitter page.

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Mexico’s Pemex fined $20 million for anti-competitive fuel practices

6/12/2017 Reuters

pemexMexico’s antitrust watchdog has fined a division of state-owned oil company Pemex [PEMX.UL] for failing to establish a competitive fuel market, the agency said on Monday.

Pemex’s Industrial Transformation unit, responsible for a range of refining and transport activities, was fined nearly 369 million pesos ($20.3 million) for the “possible commission of a monopolistic practice … in the diesel market.”

According to a statement from the Federal Economic Competition Commission (Cofece), the Pemex unit has not complied with its obligations following a 2014 energy reform to refrain from offering discretional benefits for selected buyers and not arbitrarily suspend some sales and marketing contracts.

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