Mexico president says will address theft from oil platforms

1/15/2019 – Reuters

14-01-2019-FOTO-03-CONFERENCIA-DE-PRENSA-MATUTINA-1024x697.jpgMEXICO CITY, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Tuesday that there had been “acts of sabotage” and theft from oil drilling platforms and that his government would address the problem as part of a crackdown on fuel theft.

“We have identified the problem and we are also going to face it,” he said at his morning press conference, without providing further details.

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Fuel thieves hit critical Mexican pipeline again

1/15/2019 – The Washington Post

 (Marco Ugarte/Associated Press)

By the Associated Press

Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says fuel thieves have again damaged a critical pipeline that supplies the capital with fuel piped in from the Gulf coast.

Lopez Obrador says that the thieves’ intent was to hit back at his government’s campaign against theft of fuel.

One day earlier, Lopez Obrador announced that there had not been any new illegal taps in that pipeline since Friday. But on Tuesday he said the state petroleum company Pemex has had to repair the pipeline again.

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Mexico Confirms It Completed 2019 Oil Hedge at $55 a Barrel

1/11/2019 – Bloomberg

pictBy Dale Quinn

Mexico’s Finance Ministry confirmed that it spent about $1.23 billion to protect 2019 revenues against falling crude prices in the world’s largest annual oil deal.

The oil producer locked in hedges at $55 a barrel, equivalent to the price approved by lawmakers for the 2019 budget, according to a Finance Ministry statement. The total expense comes to about 23.5 billion pesos.

Mexico has in recent years spent around $1 billion on average buying financial put options from Wall Street banks, a closely-watched set of trades that typically covers 200 million to 300 million barrels and has the potential to roil markets. The trade, also known as the Hacienda hedge, is considered the largest oil deal on Wall Street.

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Mexicans Embrace Bikes, Scooters as Fuel Shortage Drags On

1/11/2019 – The New York Times

5337912858_1b19aea036_b.jpgMEXICO CITY — Mexicans faced with a fuel shortage are turning to bikes and scooters, generating business for startups that rent those alternative rides, but straining operations for ride-hailing service Uber in some cities.

The shortages came after Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador closed some vulnerable pipelines in a crackdown on fuel theft. There have been long lines at pumping stations this week in several states.

Uber said the fuel shortage posed challenges in some cities in the central state of Guanajuato and the Western state of Michoacan. Users are requesting fewer trips in those cities, but with fewer Uber drivers on the road, demand has increased for those who are working, said company spokesman Saul Crespo.

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Mexico prepares for arrival of next Central American migrant caravan

1/9/2019 – Reuters

caravanBy Diego Oré

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican authorities will meet with Central American officials to prepare for the arrival of a planned new caravan of migrants headed to the United States next week.

The head of Mexico’s immigration office, Tonatiuh Guillen, left on Wednesday on a trip to El Salvador and Honduras to meet with his counterparts and other authorities, said Interior Ministry spokesman Hector Gandini.

Mexico hopes to discourage a mass exodus from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, and wants Central Americans who decide to migrate north to do so in an orderly way and through legal ports of entry.

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AMLO’s Money Guy Sends a Message to Anxious Wall Street Crowd

1/9/2019 – Bloomberg

23-julio-2018.-AMLO-Conferencia-06-1024x683.jpgBy Nacha Cattan

In his first trip abroad as Mexico’s finance minister, Carlos Urzua had a message he clearly wanted to deliver to the New York investing community. It was, in essence: Don’t worry, the young administration of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador understands the laws of economics and isn’t about to try any radical experiments that could jeopardize Mexico’s financial health.

Over the course of an almost 40-minute interview that he packed into a day full of meetings with Wall Street financiers, Urzua emphatically, and repeatedly, stated that the government will not seek to engineer faster growth than the economy can realistically handle (a mere 2 percent this year); that it respects the autonomy of the central bank; that it’s slashing spending in some ministries; that there will be no tax increases and, if anything, possibly a tax cut to help turn around the state-run oil giant Petroleos Mexicanos.

The peso’s rally in recent weeks was an affirmation, Urzua said, of the market’s growing confidence in a leftist president many had feared, and he predicted excitedly that the currency could keep strengthening in coming weeks — to trade below 19 pesos per dollar or better.

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Mexican ports see bottlenecks as fuel distribution slows: traders

1/9/2019 – Reuters

El-presidente-de-México-Andrés-Manuel-López-Obrador.-EFE-4MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Bottlenecks for offloading imported fuel are forming at some Mexican oil ports following government orders to shut pipelines to limit losses from widespread fuel theft, according to traders and Refinitiv Eikon data.

With storage limited in Mexico, the move by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to shut pipelines and move fuel mostly by rail and truck has slowed transport, causing long lines for consumers and slowed deliveries at ports, where more than 7 million barrels of fuel – enough for several days of use in Mexico – languish.

The crackdown on fuel theft, a crime that has drained billions of dollars from state coffers and is blamed for rising violence in some regions, is the leftist president’s first major move against criminals and corruption since taking office in December, but risks angering consumers and hurting the economy.

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