- Mexico’s state-owned oil company processed 758,700 barrels of crude in May, a 17% year-on-year drop
Arturo Solis, Bloomberg Linea
Energiesnet.com 07 05 2023
Mexico’s state-owned oil company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) recorded a drop in domestic crude refining to its lowest level since June 2022 in May, according to the company’s most recent data, while its new Dos Bocas refinery has yet to produce fuels.
In May, Pemex processed 758,000 barrels per day of oil in its six refineries, a decline of 17% monthly, and a 4% annual drop.
The drop in refining output came mainly from the Miguel Hidalgo refinery in Tula, in Hidalgo state, which processed 153,800 barrels per day, a monthly decline of 60%.
The decline was also due to lower crude processing at the Cadereyta and Madero refineries.
The Minatitlán, Salamanca and Salina Cruz refineries slightly offset the slump with marginal increases in their crude oil distillation capacity.
Pemex’s refineries were designed to process light crude, but current production is concentrated in heavy oil, and their refining capacity, accompanied by a lack of maintenance, fell below 40% in 2018.
Since then, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador promised that Mexico would afuel energy self-sufficiency with the refurbishment of Pemex’s six refineries, in addition to the construction of a seventh refinery in Dos Bocas, Tabasco.
The new refinery was inaugurated by the president in July 2022, but it is still not producing gasoline or diesel due to operational delays, as the start-up was scheduled for December 2022, but the new tentative date is September 2023.
In a bid to boost Pemex’s refining capacity, the Mexican government also purchased the Deer Park refinery, located in Texas, but the company only sends 15% of the fuels produced there to Mexico due to greater profitability of sales in the US market.
Pemex needs to complete the construction of two coker plants at the Tula and Salina Cruz refineries to reduce the production of fuel oil – a highly pollutant and costly to produce fuel – and increase the production of gasoline and diesel.
AMLO and Pemex have estimated different dates for the completion and start-up of the coker plants.
While the president estimates that they will be ready in 2023 and 2024, Pemex said that they will be delayed one more year until 2024 and 2025, respectively.
bloomberglinea.com 06 04 2023