IMP to Strengthen National Refinery SystemBy Kristelle Gutiérrez | Mon, 05/23/2022 - 08:00
The federal administration’s long quest to achieve energy sovereignty within the next few years has led to different strategies, among them the reinvigoration of the National Refinery System (SNR) through the rehabilitation of the six working oil refineries in the country, in addition to the acquisition of the Deer Park refinery in January 2022 and the construction of Dos Bocas in Tabasco. Recently the Mexican Petroleum Institute (IMP) signed off a contract with Recursos Omega, which contemplates over US$211 million worth of maquila and chemical products to be utilized by the SNR within the following two years.
According to El Sol de México, this has been the second most significant payout by the government in 2022. As previously stressed, the goals of this investment is to maintain and guarantee the correct operation of refineries like Tula, Cadereyta, Salina Cruz, Minatitlán and Madero. IMP’s website indicates that refineries will receive resources for integral chemical treatments at processing power plants, as well as fuel oil and water systems.
Recent comments from President López Obrador on Deer Park and its development toward energy sovereignty, however, have met negative opinions from industry analysts who do not believe in the overall success of the restoration of the refinery system. George Baker, Founder and Publisher, Mexico Energy Intelligence, criticized the President for obsessing over attaining energy sovereignty when producing self-sufficiently does not hold much economic merit: “What really counts is if the system can self-supply while also reducing costs,” he said.
Other opinions have been more positive, like Arturo Carranza’s, Director of Energy Projects, Akza Advisors, who told El Financiero that the efforts made by the administration to restore the national refinery system are indeed visible. Nevertheless, he also commented on the setbacks that oil and gas production has recently faced, “The level of decay of these refineries is evident … We need more investments to carry on modernizing and integrating the equipment and the power plants so that the increase in oil production can be long sustained,” said Carranza.
The expert based in Houston further emphasized the need for even more investment, since PEMEX’s current business model does not consider ‘fresh capital’ and seems too hard to follow and realize.
Deer Park's utility has reportedly increased and stood at 89 percent. PEMEX CEO, Octavio Romero Oropeza noted that this should translate to a reduction in crude oil imports. “Oil imports went from 833.000b/d in 2018 to 436.000b/d by Feb. 2022, which is a reduction of 48 percent,” added Romero Oropeza on the 84th anniversary of the Mexican oil expropriation.