PEMEX Keeps Increasing Production, DebtsBy Karin Dilge | Wed, 03/23/2022 - 17:38
PEMEX increases its production, reaching record numbers. Nevertheless, it is losing more money and growing its debt. In other news, Braskem Idesa ramps up its ethane imports.
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Energy independence has always been central to the nationalist agenda of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Recently, the president not only spoke about the benefits this agenda would bring but also highlighted that, as of now, Mexico is undeniably self-sufficient. However, the president would need to reconsider the multiple implications of self-sufficiency for this statement to carry weight, warn experts.
After a year of a tense relations between PEMEX and Braskem, the company notices a considerable improvement in the relationship. Braskem reported record-level imports of ethane coming from the US to its polyethylene plant in Mexico. The company’s new import terminal, which would decrease its dependency on PEMEX’s supply, is expected to start operating by 2024.
The energy sovereignty-minded strategy promoted by the current administration caused an increase in PEMEX’s losses. The state-owned company lost 172 percent more money in 2021 compared to 2019. This loss increased from MX$63 billion (US$3 billion) to MX$172 billion (US$8 billion). The high cost of oil production is the main reason for these issues.
In one month, PEMEX increased its debt with suppliers and contractors by MX$7 billion (US$346 million). The NOC closed February 2022 with a total debt of MX$60 million (US$3 billion), according to company data.
PEMEX has reduced its production goals for this year for the second time in less than two months. The new target is 69Mb/d below the estimation at the beginning of 2022 and now stands at 1.87MMb/d.
Last year, the Gas Distributors Association reported 2,187 incidents, representing growth in clandestine fuel theft of 1,000 percent compared to 2018, when 215 incidents were reported. The association said that PEMEX loses around MX$17 billion as a result of liquefied petroleum (LP) gas theft. Mexico City and the State of Mexico are the main black markets for the responsible organized crime rings.