Deer Park’s Key Team to Remain After PEMEX TakeoverBy Cas Biekmann | Tue, 10/26/2021 - 16:23
PEMEX is looking to take control over Deer Park, a 340Mb/d refinery previously owned by Shell, by the end of 2021. Despite the takeover, existing leadership and emergency service arrangements will remain.
Providing continuity in operations by transferring Deer Park Manager Guy Hackwell and his team to the PEMEX payroll could alleviate the community’s natural post-takeover concerns regarding the NOC’s safety record, reported Argus Media. Shell had previously announced that Hackwell would stay on to manage the refinery. Last week, Hackwell himself addressed concerns in a city council meeting by confirming he and his team are to become PEMEX employees “toward the back end” of 4Q21. How long the entire team will stay has not yet been clarified.
Shell will keep the on-site chemicals complex, which has an added benefit for PEMEX in that the operation will remain much like before, including emergency response services for PEMEX and other companies operating on the complex. “We are already providing emergency response to third parties on site. This concept of 'Where does emergency response go?' or 'How does it work? Well, we have already been working like that for a number of years,” said Hackwell.
President López Obrador reported in May of this year that PEMEX bought Shell’s 50.005pc stake for US$596 million. PEMEX had already held a 49.05 percent minority share in the facility for nearly three decades. “In two or three years, we will recover the investment. The financial analysis has already been done; it is a good business for the country,” said López Obrador at the time. The Deer Park refinery currently processes crudes from Mexico, Canada, US, Africa and South America. Products produced by the refinery include gasoline, diesel, aviation, ship fuel and petroleum coke.
Industry experts tend to agree with Deer Park’s potential because the facility already processes the largest amount of Mexico’s Maya crude. “I believe the decision to purchase Deer Park was a great one. To put it concisely, Mexico needs more refining capacity,” said Jaime Brito, Vice President of Stratas Advisors in a recent MBN interview, even pointing toward further opportunity for the NOC in the US refining system: “Some companies want to get rid of some capacity. Yet, many of these assets are in very good condition and are very efficient.” Considering Mexico’s mission to become independent in its energy resources, the move represents an important step forward. “Deer Park does not put Mexico at full self-sufficiency in terms of refining capacity but it sure gets us closer,” said Brito. Shell reported that the sale is not a strategic divestment in the company’s US operations.