Mexican SMEs Demand Payments From Sapura Energy
More than 30 Mexican oil SMEs have reported they are at risk of bankruptcy due to large overdue payments from the Malaysian company Sapura Energy. According to the SMEs involved, Sapura Energy suspended payments to service providers a year and a half ago. Moreover, the company’s top managers and representatives left the country to avoid facing creditors.
Those affected have initiated legal actions to demand payment of more than US$32 million for the subcontracting works and services they performed for PEMEX and private clients, such as Hokchi and ENI. After several lawsuits, SMEs achieved the seizure of the company’s bank accounts, but these resources were insufficient to cover all debts.
“Sapura Energy faces global financial and legal problems, with the possibility of bankruptcy,” reads a statement by the SMEs. The plaintiffs pointed out that Sapura Energy Mexicana, the Mexican subsidiary of the company, closed its offices in Ciudad del Carmen. However, it recently won a tender for a project through its corporate name Alta Navegacion de Mexico, S. De R.L. de C.V.
The SMEs reported that Sapura Energy’s debts have caused the bankruptcy of some companies in the southeast of Mexico, particularly in Veracruz, Tabasco and Campeche, and has put others’ operational and financial viability at risk. “Sapura Energy works with Mexican SMEs, to whom it requests credit for up to 90 days, ensuring that once it receives payments from its customers, it will settle its debts. However, the company refuses to pay for various products and services, even though PEMEX and other companies have made payments for the tasks performed in Mexico.” According to PEMEX’s monthly payments report, the NOC paid MX$68.9 million (US$3.9 million) to Sapura Energy Mexicana.
The Mexican companies consider that the Navy should establish stricter measures before allowing vessels or naval devices of such transnational corporations to leave national waters, as has already happened with those of Sapura Energy, which prevents them from being seized to guarantee payment to their suppliers.