PEMEX is undergoing an oil refining crisis
The demand for this type of fuel reached a number of 115,347 barrels a day during the month of July - Photo: File photo/EL UNIVERSAL

PEMEX is undergoing an oil refining crisis

04/09/2018
19:26
Noé Cruz Serrano
Mexico City
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All 6 oil refineries in Mexico are operating at 39% capacity, producing only 0.2% of Premium gas

The crisis of the National Oil Refining System is growing deep.

During the month of July, according to Mexican Petroleums (PEMEX)’s operational reports, the Madero refinery did not process a single oil barrel when, barely a month earlier, it had refined 40,631 barrels a day.

All six refineries in the country (Cadereyta, Madero, Minatitlán, Salina Cruz, Tula, and Salamanca) operated at 39% capacity, according to the National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH).

In addition to the Madero refinery’s lacking performance, the Minatitlán refinery operated at a 6% capacity during the same month. It went from a production capacity of 285,000 barrels of crude oil a day to only refining 18,000.

Furthermore, the Premium gas production crisis reached a historic high. During that month, four of all six refineries stopped producing this type of fuel and only the Tula and Salinas Cruz refineries contributed with low volumes.

The Hidalgo complex produced 214 barrels of Premium gasoline a day, which is equivalent to a production of 6,634 barrels during the month of July, a volume which is barely enough for filling 26 tankers of 40,000 liters of gasoline, while there is a vehicle fleet of 1,481 tankers in total.

The demand for this type of fuel reached a number of 115,347 barrels a day during the month of July, given that Premium gasoline is used by the most recent vehicle models, which is why national production (coming from the Tula and Salinas Cruz refineries) only represented 0.2% of national consumption.

The national market’s demand is met almost entirely with imported Premium gasoline.

Ramsés Pech, an analyst of the energy sector and senior partner at the Caraiva and Associates firm, stated that the National Refinery System’s main problem was a lack of investment for the rehabilitation and modernization of refineries.

Through a report sent to the Mexican Stock Exchange, the oil company explained that the production decrease for crude oil was “mostly due to operational problems that have lagged the stabilization of the production process at the Madero and Minatitlán refineries upon conclusion of the general maintenance program.”

Oil refining investment went from 22,600,000 pesos to 9,900,000 pesos, which represented a 56.2% decrease.
 

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