Mexico business group unhappy about delay in oil auctions

07/19/2018 Reuters

Oil Rig 2 by Flickr user tsuda

A decision to delay Mexican oil auctions until after the next president takes office does not augur well for opening the country’s energy sector to private investment, the head of a major business association said on Thursday.

The government said on Wednesday it had postponed auctions scheduled for September and October until next February to give firms more time to consider the blocks on offer.

Last month, it said the auctions would be going ahead as planned.

Incoming President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a leftist, has been a long-standing critic of opening up the oil and gas sector to private capital, and said before the election he would demand the auctions be halted.

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Mexican oil tenders shelved until after leftist leader takes office

07/18/18 Reuters

oilMexican oil auctions originally set for later this year will be postponed until February 14, the country’s oil regulator on Wednesday, allowing time for leftist President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to take office.

While on campaign, Lopez Obrador said he would request a pause in auctions to allow his team to check for corruption in contracts already issued. The national hydrocarbons commission said the decision was taken to allow companies more time to study the areas on offer.

A total of 45 onshore areas, including both conventional and shale blocks, were originally scheduled to be auctioned on September 27, while tenders to pick partners for state-owned oil company Pemex in seven separate areas had been set to be awarded on October 31.

The projects would have been the last scheduled oil tenders of outgoing President Enrique Pena Nieto, who leaves office at the end of November. Lopez Obrador takes office on Dec. 1.

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Mexico’s new government to focus on boosting fuel output at home

07/11/2018 Reuters

energy - oil pumpsMexico’s next energy agenda will prioritize increasing gasoline and diesel production and later decide on possible changes to the industry reform championed by the outgoing government, according to a top aide to President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Rocio Nahle, tapped by Lopez Obrador to be energy minister, told local outlet Aristegui Noticias on Wednesday that the country’s next government will address the “energy imbalance” in which Mexico produces less fuel at home and turns to imports to meet national demand.

Lopez Obrador won a landslide victory in the July 1 election and will take office in December.

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Mexico president-elect says fuel prices to start falling in three years

07/09/2018 Reuters

amlo monterreyMexico’s president-elect, leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, said on Monday that fuel prices would begin to come down in three years, once domestic fuel output starts to rise thanks to refinery improvements and a planned new refinery.

Lopez Obrador, who won by a landslide in the July 1 election and takes office on Dec. 1, said in a press conference after meeting with industry leaders that there would be no sharp rises in fuel prices during the first half of his six-year term, and that they would rise only in line with inflation.

“After three years, by which time we will have fuel production in Mexico – because we’re going to rehabilitate the six refineries and build one so we can stop buying fuel abroad – we will have lowered prices,” he said.

Lopez Obrador has long criticized a broad energy sector overhaul pushed through Congress by current President Enrique Pena Nieto, but has toned down attacks in recent months. Pena Nieto’s popularity suffered a big hit after a sharp fuel price rise in January 2017.

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Mexico’s next president aims to end foreign fuel imports in three years

07/07/18 Reuters

oil-monahans-texas-sunset-70362.jpegMexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will seek to end the country’s massive fuel imports, nearly all from the United States, during the first three years of his term while also boosting refining at home.

The landslide winner of last Sunday’s election told reporters on Saturday morning before attending private meetings with members of his future cabinet that he will also prioritize growing crude oil production domestically, which has fallen sharply for years.

“The objective is that we stop buying foreign gasoline by the half way point of my six-year term,” said Lopez Obrador, repeating a position he and his senior energy advisor staked out during the campaign.

“We are going to immediately revive our oil activity, exploration and the drilling of wells so we have crude oil,” he said.

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Mexichem agrees to buy Pemex’s Petroquimica Mexicana de Vinilo stake

07/06/18 Reuters

pemex22Mexican chemicals and plastic pipe maker Mexichem said on Friday it had agreed to buy state oil firm Pemex’s stake in chemical manufacturer Petroquimica Mexicana de Vinilo.

Mexichem MEXCHEM said it would pay roughly $178.7 million for Pemex’s 44.09 percent stake in the company, while Pemex separately said that the sale would help it consolidate its finances.

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Mexico’s new government will honor oil contracts if they are clean: top aide

07/04/2018 Reuters

oil-monahans-texas-sunset-70362.jpegOil and gas contracts awarded under the Mexican government’s energy reform will be respected by the incoming administration provided no problems emerge in a review of the tender process, the likely future finance minister said on Wednesday.

Leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador won Sunday’s presidential election by a landslide. Carlos Urzua, his choice for finance minister when he takes office in December, said energy contracts would be honored if everything was in order.

“If it looks good, on we go. It’s a contract we have to respect,” Urzua told Mexican television.

A former Mexico City mayor, Lopez Obrador has promised to root out corruption, and wants the contracts analyzed to ensure the process was not tainted.

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