Suscríbete

Declining Mexican refineries worsen fuel shortages

During his presidential campaign, President López Obrador promised to boost domestic refining capacity while avoiding fuel price spikes

Declining Mexican refineries worsen fuel shortages
The Minatitlán refinery - Photo: File Photo/EL UNIVERSAL
English 13/01/2019 13:30 Reuters Mexico City Sheky Espejo Actualizada 13:30
Guardando favorito...

Key Mexican oil refineries are shut down, Mexico’s President said on Thursday, as the government’s war against fuel theft is pressuring the distribution of supplies from terminals across the country.

Declining output at refineries owned and operated by state-run oil company Pemex is forcing the firm to meet demand by relying more heavily on imported fuels, which President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has pledged to cut once gasoline and diesel are produced in Mexico.

“There are (Pemex) refineries that have been shut down for a while,” said López Obrador at his morning news conference.

The company’s 177,000 barrel per day Madero refinery has not produced fuel in a “long time,” while the 285,000-barrels per day Minatitlán refinery is “shut down or producing little,” the President said.

Pemex owns and operates six oil refineries in Mexico with a joint capacity of 1.63 million barrels per day of crude processing, which worked below half of its capacity last year.

During his presidential campaign, President López Obrador promised to boost domestic refining capacity while avoiding fuel price spikes and emphasized that the country has enough fuel supplies and that only distribution problems persist.

Pemex’s largest refinery, the 330,000-barrels per day Salina Cruz, just recently resumed production, the President said, without offering further details.

The refinery, located on the coast of southern Oaxaca state, was producing about 52,000 barrels per day in November, according to the most recent information published by Pemex. The facility produced about 91,000 barrels per day in 2014.

Overall, Pemex’s refineries are producing about 200,000 barrels per day, according to official numbers, while another 600,000 barrels per day are being imported, almost all of which comes from U.S. refiners.

“We have enough reserves, ships are arriving, we have enough fuel, that’s why we’re meeting this challenge,” said López Obrador.

Still, long lines of drivers are forming at gas stations in the Mexican capital, as well as in several states, as the government crackdown on fuel theft has led to slower fuel distribution, primarily by rail and trucks.

Meanwhile, at key Mexican import hubs, bottlenecks for discharging imported fuel have formed, where over 7 million barrels of fuel languish, according to traders and Refinitiv Eikon data.

gm
 

Guardando favorito...
 

Recomendamos