PEMEX Classifies Contracts With VitolThu, 02/18/2021 - 18:59
LatinUs reported this week that PEMEX, specifically its Industrial Transformation division, has officially designated its past contracts with Vitol as classified. This is a five-year designation and came after LatinUs journalists requested to see all contracts and invoices between the NOC and the provider. Vitol is the Dutch energy and commodities trader accused by the US Justice Department of breaking FCPA law by bribing PEMEX officials from 2005 to 2020. MBN previously reported on PMI, PEMEX’s trading division, severing all ties with Vitol back in December when the Justice Department first filed charges. According to LatinUs, Mexican transparency law dictates that any document related to an ongoing corruption investigation cannot be designated as classified, which would make PEMEX's actions technically illegal.
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PEMEX Tax Payments to Be Reduced By Presidential Decree
President López Obrador announced that a new decree will soon come into force to reduce PEMEX and CFE’s tax contributions. "In regards to PEMEX, a decree will be enforced to reduce its tax payments to SHCP. Before the SHCP took everything away from PEMEX, the money that PEMEX produced was used to pay taxes. Today, there is a process to eliminate the tax burden, which will help improve its situation,” López Obrador said.
Government Accuses Previous Administrations of Creating Dependency on US Natural Gas
CFEnergía and CFE International Director Miguel Reyes Hernández said that Mexico depends on US natural gas to generate energy because previous administrations signed several contracts with foreign companies. “The last two administrations agreed on these contracts with private gas pipelines. We have 18 transportation agreements and 24 supply agreements with the US, which have a duration between 15 and 25 years,” Reyes said. He highlighted that previously, contracts with CFE represented less than 10 percent of international contracts and explained this is one of the reasons for gas supply problems. Reyes announced that between today and tomorrow, two LNG ships would arrive at the ports of Manzanillo and Altamira to supply gas to the states affected by the lack of US natural gas imports. “CFEnergía decided the ships would arrive on Thursday and Friday. We are highly dependent on US natural gas and it is time to change that because there is high vulnerability by relying only on one source of energy,” Reyes said. SENER reported yesterday that the first ship with liquefied gas had arrived at the port of Manzanillo. The gas was destined for CFE’s generation plants.
Hacked PEMEX Files “Floating” on the Internet
El Economista reports that as many as 180,000 official PEMEX files originally stolen during a cyberattack the NOC sustained at the end of 2019 have been reported as being found “floating” on different corners of the internet, according to a dossier from ONEA México. These files total 6GB and include operation manuals for remote operations of refineries, username and password databases for several groups of workers, operational logs, surveillance and security plans and graphics used for interpretation of internal statistical data, including hydrocarbon production information.
Odebrecht Receives Three-Year Sanction Due to PEMEX Contracts
Proceso reported that Mexico’s Administrative Justice Tribunal has sanctioned controversial Brazilian contractor Odebrecht, preventing it from operating in Mexico for three years. These sanctions are independent from other legal cases pending against Odebrecht. The contractor is accused of overcharging PEMEX for work on the Tula refinery.