What next for Pemex?

2/9/2016 Forbes.com

By Duncan Wood, Director of the Mexico Institute

Pemex LogoThe news that Emilio Lozoya, CEO of Mexican National Oil Company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) would be stepping down came as no great surprise to many observers of Mexican oil politics. The company has been in deep trouble for over a decade now and, although Lozoya only took over 3 years ago, he has been able to do little to stem the tide of bad news during his tenure at the top of the organization. From a high point in crude oil production in 2004 of 3.4 million barrels per day (bpd), Pemex now only produces around 2.2 million bpd, and that total is predicted to fall further in the coming months. Combined with the low oil price internationally, that means a lot less revenue for Pemex, but more importantly, less fiscal revenue for Lozoya’s political bosses in the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto. Mexico’s government has depended on oil for up to 35% of its revenue over the past decade, but with lower prices and lower production, that total has fallen closer to 20%, leaving a growing gap in the federal budget, that has been covered by cutting spending in infrastructure projects and government salaries and services.

The money problem afflicting Pemex has largely been caused by successive Mexican governments treating the NOC as a cash cow, and the truth is that the company has been milked to death. This year’s cuts in the Pemex budget and the calls for layoffs are only the latest manifestation of a long-running abuse of the company by the Mexican federal government. But the decline in Pemex and government revenues is only one part of the unholy trinity of problems that has been afflicting the NOC in recent years.

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THIS THURSDAY: Second Annual North American Energy Forum

mainWHEN: Thursday, September 17, 9:00am-1:00pm

WHERE: 6th Floor Auditorium, Woodrow Wilson Center

Click here to RSVP. 

The Mexico and Canada Institutes of the Woodrow Wilson Center are pleased to invite you to the Second Annual North American Energy Forum.

9:00 am – Welcome
Duncan Wood, Director, Mexico Institute
Laura Dawson, Director, Canada Institute, Wilson Center
9:10 am – The Outlook for the Oil and Gas under Low Prices
Moderator: Jan Kalicki, Wilson Center Energy Fellow
Speakers: 

Marco Antonio Cota Valdivia, Director General of Exploration & Extraction of Hydrocarbons, Ministry of Energy
Sara Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow, Energy and National Security Program, CSIS
Shirley Neff, Senior Advisor, U.S. Energy Information Administration
Duncan Wood, Director, Mexico Institute

Issues:
• The outlook for North American oil and gas production
• Mexico’s oil and gas reform
• Canada’s oil sands after Keystone and low prices

10:30 am – Keynote Addresses

Cesar Hernandez Ochoa, Mexican Under-Secretary of Energy for Electricity
Amos J. Hochstein, Special Envoy, Bureau of Energy Resources

11:30 am – Coffee and Snack Break

11:45 am – North American Electricity Futures
Moderator: Laura Dawson, Director, Canada Institute

Speakers:
Patrick Brown,  Director of US Affairs, Canadian Electricity Association
John Renehan, Director of Strategy, GE Power and Energy
Eduardo Andrade, Corporate Director, Iberdrola Mexico
Rafael Fernandez
Henry Gentenaar, Managing Partner,  MegaSolar

Issues:
• The development of Mexico’s electricity market
• Linking the region’s electricity grids and markets
• New technologies and ideas
• Smart grids and distributed generation

1:00 pm – Event Concludes

Click here to RSVP.

U.S. Allows Limited Oil Exports to Mexico

8/14/15 The New York Times

energy - oil pumpsThe Obama administration on Friday gave oil companies temporary permission to export a limited amount of oil to Mexico at a time when a glut is cutting into domestic petroleum profits and employment.

The decision by the Commerce Department fell short of removing a ban on crude exports that goes back to the 1970s, when international oil boycotts produced long lines at gasoline stations and threatened the American economy. It also does not make a broad national security exception for Mexico, which has long existed for Canada, to release larger-scale exports.

But support for an end to the ban is growing in Congress among Republicans and Democrats from oil states like Texas. The administration has been reluctant to remove the ban, although it has already given permission over the last two years to American producers to sell some extra-light forms of crude, called condensates, on a limited basis.

The oil industry lent cautious applause to the administration’s move, but repeated its calls for a complete end to the export ban.

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Mexico industrial output up in June on factory, oil rebound

8/12/15 Economic Times

energy - oil_rigMexican industrial output rose in June, bouncing back from a steep drop in the previous month as manufacturing, construction and oil production picked up, official data showed on Tuesday. Industrial output rose 0.2 percent in June from May, the national statistics agency said. That was just below expectations for a 0.3 percent expansion in a Reuters poll. Factory output edged up 0.1 percent from May. Mexico sends nearly 80 percent of its exports, mostly factory goods, to the United States.  The construction sector, which also is a component of industrial production, rose 0.4 percent month-on-month. Mexico’s economy grew at its slowest pace in more than a year in the first quarter, undermined by flagging oil production and weak US demand for exports.

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Mexico’s Pemex pays $295 million to settle Siemens dispute

7/20/15 Reuters

oil rigsMexican state oil company Pemex PEMX.UL reached a $295 million settlement with a group including German industrial conglomerate Siemens (SIEGn.DE) in a longstanding dispute over a refinery project, a person familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The deal was originally announced in March but did not give details of the final settlement.

A Mexican official close to the negotiations said that Pemex had agreed to settle for $295 million. Earlier in the day, Pemex said in a statement that the deal struck definitively ends the 14-year-long dispute, but it did not give a sum.

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Mexico’s Oil Auction: short-term disappointment v long-term progress

7/16/2015 Beyond Brics, The Financial Times

By Duncan Wood, Director, Mexico Institute

Oil Rig 2 by Flickr user tsuda Photo by Flickr user tsudaOn Wednesday July 15, Juan Carlos Zepeda, the president of Mexico’s National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH), announced the results of bidding for exploration contracts in 14 shallow water blocks in the Gulf of Mexico, the first time in over 75 years that production-sharing contracts have been awarded in the country. The results were eagerly awaited by energy industry analysts the world over. As the envelopes began to be opened, the president’s office and the CNH tweeted an inforgraphic stating that the process would be deemed a success if four to seven contracts were successfully awarded.

In the end, only two blocks were awarded, both to a consortium formed by Sierra Oil of Mexico, Talos Energy of the US and Premier Oil of the UK. The government received offers from just nine bidders (five individual companies and four consortia), a pitiful tally given that 49 companies each paid $365,000 to enter the data rooms and 25 of those companies pre-qualified to bid. Of the majors, only ENI and Statoil made bids, leaving most of the big names on the sidelines.

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Mexico Energy Reform Starts with Thud in Offshore Oil Auction

7/15/2015 BloombergBusiness

Oil Rig 2 by Flickr user tsuda Photo by Flickr user tsudaMexico’s first auction of offshore oil leases fell short of the country’s expectations as several majors decided not to participate.

Only two of the 14 shallow-water blocks released on Wednesday received qualifying bids. Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and Total SA passed on the country’s sale of territory in the Gulf of Mexico, 77 years after the country nationalized crude. The 14 percent success rate was less than half the 30 percent to 50 percent goal that the government said would be its minimum for judging the event a success…

“This has to be crushingly disappointing for the government,” Duncan Wood, director of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, said Wednesday. “It has to be seen as a very clear message that they need to do a lot more to make the oil and gas opening a success.”

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