Mexican agency finds irregularities in Pemex, Odebrecht contract

09/11/2017 Reuters

Mexico’s top anti-corruption agency said on Monday it had identified 119 million pesos ($6.7 million) in “new irregularities” from a contract between state oil company Pemex and Odebrecht, the Brazilian engineering firm that has admitted paying bribes in a dozen countries in recent years.

Mexico’s Public Administration Ministry (SFP), the government’s main anti-corruption auditor, said in a statement that the contract was for work at Pemex’s second biggest refinery, the Miguel Hidalgo facility in Tula, Hidalgo state and involved an unnamed employee of the national oil company.

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Will the Next Deepwater Horizon Be in Mexico?

12/7/16 The New York Times

1280px-development-driller-2In Dec. 5, Mexico’s Energy Ministry began auctioning off the crown jewels of its oil reserves, deepwater tracts that, along with those for fracking, are supposed to set off an oil-and-gas rush south of the border. The auctions are a result of a 2013 law that opened the country’s oil and gas industry to private companies, after 75 years of public ownership. What could go wrong?

Plenty, as recent experiences in the United States suggest. Five years ago, Deepwater Horizon familiarized the world with the risks of deepwater drilling, and Americans are increasingly aware of the dangers of hydraulic fracking. In Mexico, the threats from both will be magnified: The state-owned oil company, Petroleros Mexicanos, or Pemex, has long operated with scant environmental oversight, a legacy that will most likely carry over as private-sector operations take over.

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Successful Auction Encourages Mexico to Step Up Oil Opening

12/6/16 The Wall Street Journal

download-3MEXICO CITY—Buoyed by the results of Mexico’s first deep-water oil auction, widely seen as a big success, President Enrique Peña Nieto’s government plans to raise the bet. Mexico intends to hold a second, much bigger deep-water auction around October next year, while state firm Petróleos Mexicanos will likely seek as many as 25 partnerships with private firms over the next two years, Energy Minister Pedro Joaquín Coldwell said in an interview.

“We’re going to be more ambitious, we’ll take a step forward because we now have more experience,” said Mr. Coldwell. “What we’ll very likely see are auctions with many more oil blocks than what we have seen so far.”

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Mexico Oil Auction Succeeds in Drawing World’s Biggest Drillers

12/5/16 Bloomberg Markets

download (3).jpgMexico’s first competitive deep-water oil auction surpassed expectations as eight of 10 blocks were awarded to some of the world’s top oil companies. The National Hydrocarbons Commission awarded all four blocks in the oil-rich Perdido Basin, where the geology is said to mirror the U.S. side of the Gulf of Mexico, to companies including Total SA, CNOOC Ltd, Chevron Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp. In the Salina Basin in the south, which is less explored and therefore considered riskier, four of six blocks were awarded. Separately, BHP Billiton Ltd. won the right to develop the Trion field in the Gulf along with Pemex.

The deep-water auction signals the beginning of a new era for Mexico, which ended state-controlled Petroleos Mexicanos’s 75-year monopoly in the energy sector in 2013 by opening the doors to foreign competitors.

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Mexico’s Trade Deficit Widens in September

10/26/16 The Wall Street Journal

MEXICO CITY—Mexico’s trade deficit increased in September as imports of petroleum products and components outpaced growth in crude oil and factory exports.

Exports last month rose 1.4% from a year earlier to $32.62 billion, while imports grew 1.7% to $34.23 billion, for a deficit of $1.61 billion, the National Statistics Institute said Wednesday. It was wider than the year-ago deficit of $1.47 billion and the expected deficit of $535 million.

Petroleum exports rose 5.7% from a year before to $1.89 billion as state oil company Petróleos Mexicanos increased its crude shipments to 1.425 million barrels a day from 1.169 million. The increase last month coincided with a sharp drop in Pemex’s refinery output.

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Mexico loses millions of dollars daily to fuel theft

10/17/16 PRI

gas pipeline and gaugeMexico is opening up to private gasoline retailers, and a new wave of fuel imported from the United States is expected to follow.

But here’s a not-so-little problem: Gangs steal a huge amount of gas, and loose law enforcement and corruption let it happen.

For the past decade or so, there’ve been widespread reports of drug cartels putting illegal taps in the fuel pipeline network. The state-run oil company Pemex has documented that some of its workers and contractors have participated, after receiving bribes or even death threats.

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Mexico’s Pemex Seeks Partners for Shallow Water Fields

10/18/16 The Wall Street Journal

pemexMEXICO CITY—Mexican state oil company Petróleos Mexicanos said Tuesday that it will seek private partners to develop two shallow water oil fields in its second planned exploration and production joint-venture under the country’s new energy laws.

The Ayin and Batsil fields in the southern Gulf of Mexico contain estimated reserves of 281 million barrels of crude-oil equivalent, including 46 million barrels in proven reserves, 77 million in probable reserves and 158 million in possible reserves, Pemex said in a news release.

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