Modernization of Refineries / Energy Self-efficiency
Investments destined to improve refineries. Minister of Energy Rocío Nahle said MX$62.8 billion (US$3.28 billion) will be invested for the rehabilitation of Mexican refineries in 2023. “This year, 398 major repairs and 186 minor repairs are contemplated. This is a historic investment to rehabilitate and initiate refineries in Mexico.”
Refineries in Minatitlán and Tula will get the largest investments, aiming to increase refining capacity. The Ministry of Energy explained that during Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration Mexico had a refining capacity of 35%. Under President López Obrador’s government it rose to 76% with 922,000 barrels of crude oil produced per day. The president´s goal is to produce 1,200,000 barrels per day.
Fuel import. PEMEX Director Octavio Romero assured that the production of fuels in Mexico will increase significantly, and forecasts that by 2024 fuel imports will be minimal. “In 2023, we will reach 2 million barrels, guaranteeing the self-sufficiency of our country. (...) In March we will reach 1.2 million more barrels through our Deer Park refinery.”
According to PEMEX, 2022’s refining levels reached an average of 816,010b/d, 14.6% more compared to 2021 standing at 711,585 b/d.
The NOC had previously stated that during the last two years of President López Obrador’s term, the Salina Cruz, Salamanca, Tula, Madero, Minatitlán and Cadereyta refineries would process 1.375MMb/d, reaching an 85% use of the National Refining System (SNR). The president has repeatedly said that Mexico will achieve fuel self-sufficiency by the end of his administration. Currently, that plan has stagnated and its objectives seem far from achievable, experts say. Based on the original goal set by Romero as the guideline, the six refineries are underperforming.
Summit against inflation. López Obrador announced that the summit against inflation will be on April 5 and where the presidents of Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Honduras, Belize, Bolivia, and Saint Vincent will participate. “We are going to have a conference with 10 presidents and a prime minister from Latin America and the Caribbean. It is a virtual meeting. The plan is to have an economic, import, and export exchange to face inflation together.”
The Mexican government previously announced it was pushing for a trade agreement with Latin American countries to exchange products without imposing tariffs. With this agreement, the government seeks to jointly combat inflation and price increases for essential products, such as food. President López Obrador has already discussed the plan with the President of Brazil, Lula de Silva; the President of Colombia, Gustavo Petro; the President of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel and the President of Argentina, Alberto Fernández. López Obrador also stressed his willingness to include Chile, Bolivia and Honduras and partake in this initiative.