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Harvey hits Mexico's energy sector

Pemex assures that the country's gasoline and diesel inventories are sufficient to make up any shortfalls in supply triggered by Hurricane Harvey
Photo: File photo / EL UNIVERSAL
31/08/2017
15:52
Noé Cruz Serrano
David Carrizales
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Hurricane Harvey, which barreled into the world's oil capital, Houston, Texas, could trigger a reduction in the volumes of gasoline that Mexico buys from U.S. refineries, located on the Texas coast of the Gulf of Mexico, and cause a temporal suspension of Mexico 's exports to U.S.

According to sources consulted in the energy sector, at least three of the ten refineries that suspended operations, Motiva Enterprises (largest U.S. refinery), owned by Saudi Aramco in Porth Arthur, ExxonMobil in Baytown and Shell Oil Corp Deer Park in Houston, "buy oil from Mexico and sell gasoline to Mexico."

According to the last available figure corresponding to the end of 2016, Mexican Petroleums (Petróleos Mexicanos abbreviated Pemex), allocated 47.8% of total crude oil exports to U.S. based customers.

Between January 1 and August 20, the volume of crude oil exports to U.S. refineries, most of them located in the affected areas, reached an average of 605,000 barrels per day (bdp).

According to information from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), among those customers are nine refineries located in areas affected by Hurricane Harvey: Chevron U.S.A. Inc., ExxonMobil Oil Corp, Motiva Enterprises and Valero Marketing and Supply Company in Port Arthur, Houston Refining and Shell Oil Products (belonging to the Deer Park refinery and Pemex partner) in Houston, and Paulsboro Refining, Phillips 66 Co and Marathon Petroleum Corporation in Louisiana and Lake Charles.

At current prices of Mexico's crude oil exports in the North American region (from January to July), at USD$ 44.28 per barrel, exports to U.S. refineries are valued at USD$ 9,778 million annually.

Regarding gasoline purchase, data from Thomas Reuters consulting firm establishes that Mexico buys from ExxonMobil, Marathon Petroleum, Valero Marketing and Motiva Enterprises through Citgo Petroleum, owned by the Venezuelan company PDVSA.

However, Pemex assures that the country's gasoline and diesel inventories are sufficient to make up any shortfalls in supply triggered by Hurricane Harvey, since in the first seven months of the year, Pemex imported around 517,000 bpd of gasoline and 220,000 bpd of diesel. Still, more than 85% comes from the U.S. market approximately.

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