At least 30 Mexican companies have taken legal action against Sapura Energy Mexicana for its failure to pay over US$32 million for subcontracting work as well as services they provided to PEMEX and private clients such as Hokchi and Eni on platforms in the Campeche Sound, the Tabasco Coast and Veracruz.
According to small and medium-sized supplier companies, the non-payment has caused the bankruptcy of some and put others at risk as they are unable to meet the payment of overdue debts, salaries, tax obligations and suppliers, among other costs.
The more than 30 companies said even though PEMEX and other companies made substantial payments for their exploration and exploitation services in the Gulf of Mexico, Sapura has not paid its outstanding debts.
"Sapura Energy has won various contracts since the implementation of President Enrique Peña Nieto's energy reform for direct works with PEMEX and other large companies, which have already paid substantial amounts to their supplier, [with Sapura] allegedly taking those payments out of the country and sending them to Malaysia or any other country where it has subsidiaries, probably to compensate for the losses it had last year," the statement added.
Furthermore, according to PEMEXs' monthly report on payments to suppliers and contractors, the state-owned company would have paid Sapura Energy Mexicana MX$68.9 million (US$ 3.81 million, though this money has not appeared to have been allocated to suppliers.
The supplier companies believe that the Navy should establish stricter measures to prevent companies like Sapura Energy from leaving national waters without being able to seize their assets to guarantee its suppliers are paid.
"Authorities such as the Ministry of Energy, the CNH, CRE and SAT must be alert to bad business practices and establish clear and transparent rules regarding the operations of these types of transnational companies in Mexico," the statement concludes.
The subsidiary of Sapura Energy, a Malaysian company that provides integrated services in the exploration and production of oil and gas, has suspended payment to service providers in Mexico since 4Q21 due to global financial and legal problems.