Bloomberg – Pemex is ready to take deliveries of U.S. crude “as soon as tomorrow” if the U.S. Commerce Department approves an application for a crude exchange, Jose Manuel Carrera, chief executive officer of PMI, the firm’s commercial arm, said.
Reuters – Asset manager BlackRock and U.S. private equity firm First Reserve have taken a joint stake worth around $900 million in the second phase of Mexico pipeline project Los Ramones. The pipeline will eventually run from the U.S.-Mexico border to central Mexico.
Reuters – Mexican state oil firm Pemex expects imminent approval from the U.S. Commerce Department to allow it to swap up to 100,000 barrels of heavy crude for a similar amount of lighter U.S. oil, what could be the latest milestone toward loosening the four-decades old ban on exporting U.S. oil.
Reuters – As Mexico opens up its oil sector to private producers for the first time in decades, the initial set of contracts up for grabs later this year will feature extended exploration periods, the country’s oil sector regulator said on Wednesday.
Reuters – Pemex is set to launch its first-ever sales of gasoline mixed with cleaner-burning ethanol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Pemex has awarded contracts to be supplied with locally-produced sugar cane and sorghum.
Telesur – Marking the 77th anniversary since Mexico nationalized its energy sector, union members and civil organizations protested Mexico’s controversial energy reform that will see the sector be opened up to privatization.
Reuters – Mexico’s state-owned oil company Pemex could double crude exports to South Korea to 10 million barrels by the end of the year, the head of the company’s trading arm said.
Economic Times – Indian refineries have consistently reduced imports from traditional markets like Saudi Arabia and Iran and have stepped up purchases from other geographies such as Mexico, Iraq and Venezuela while building inventories, as crude prices remain weak due to lower demand.
NYT – Mexico kicked off the opening of its oil industry to great fanfare. With oil fetching around $100 a barrel at the time, the projections were ambitious. Now, oil prices have sunk to almost half that level, and the atmosphere has turned anxious.
Sentido Comun – Petroleos Mexicanos said it reached a settlement with Siemens to resolve all legal disputes concerning Siemens and a consortium’s work reconfiguring the Cadereyta refinery in Nuevo Leon.
El Dario Mx – A total of 32 mining companies have submitted to the Secretariat of Energy requests for oil contracts to exploit coal bed gas. The interested companies generated 322 requests for different sites during the last quarter of 2014.
WSJ – Mexico’s proven oil and gas reserves fell by 3.1 percent last year to 13.02 billion barrels of crude-oil equivalent as national oil company Petróleos Mexicanos was unable to find new reserves to replace all the petroleum it took out of the ground last year.
Bloomberg – Mexico’s decision to raise the price of Maya crude is seen making Canadian crude more competitive, drawing increased volumes down to the U.S. Gulf Coast.
By Ignacio Alvarado Álvarez / Al Jazeera
Mexico’s northern border area is full of semidesert lands with small cities, towns and ranches dedicated to livestock and forage crops. Under this inhospitable surface lies the world’s fourth-largest reserves of shale gas and 95 percent of Mexico’s coal.
The cycle of great violence began here — as in the nearby states of Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas and Veracruz — in 2009. From 2005 to 2009, there were 788 homicides in the state. In 2010 and 2011, Coahuila reported 1,067 homicides.
The prevailing explanation for the violence is that the ruthless Zetas cartel established control of the area while overwhelmed authorities did little to oppose them. But growing analysis links the violence to a corrupt group of government officials in whose jurisdiction lie millions of pesos in hydrocarbons.
“Energy Reform and Security in Northeastern Mexico,” a report published by the Mexico Center at Rice University, places the regional violence in the context of powerful economic interests. It is not the government’s version, that of a war among cartels for routes to the U.S., nor is it the concept of la plaza, or territorial control by criminal organizations. Rather, the struggle is for control of the more than 70,000 square miles of the Burgos Basin and its enormous gas reserves.
“[In Coahuila] we have become aware of a new criminal system that involves organized crime working together in a systemic way with federal, state and municipal authorities and law enforcement,” said Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, an associate professor and the director of the department of government at the University of Texas at Brownsville.
Sentido Comun – Haydro Andritz, a global supplier of electromechanical systems for hydroelectric plants, won the tender to rehabilitate and modernize Hydroelectric Temascal, in units 1 and 4, located in the state of Oaxaca.
By Laurence Iliff / Wall Street Journal
Mexico has modified the terms and scope of this year’s auction of oil blocks to keep them attractive in the current price environment, Energy Minister Pedro Joaquín Coldwell said, and more changes could be in the offing.
“It could be that we make some more adjustments, but it’s not something that I can assure,” Coldwell said at a news conference. For example, the government might adjust the time limit for the drilling of exploratory wells in certain oil contracts, he said.
Currently, Mexico is in the preparation stage to auction off shallow-water blocks for exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, and to take bids for nearby oil fields that already have been discovered and contain certified reserves.
Those are the first two phases of an oil auction this year dubbed “round one” because it is the first of its kind since an energy overhaul opened the sector to private companies last year.
Sentido Comun – Gas Natural Mexico, a subsidiary of the Spanish company Gas Natural Fenosa, announced that it won the tender for the first permit distribution of natural gas in certain geographical areas of Sinaloa.
Sentido Comun – GDF Suez Energy of Mexico announced its entry into the market of compressed gas in Mexico and its intention to participate in upcoming auctions for distribution of natural gas in three southern cities.
Reuters – Pemex said on Friday that it had contained a fire at its Miguel Hidalgo refinery and that the facility was back to normal operations. No workers were injured, and the facility near the city of Tula sustained only minor damages, the company said.
By Jude Webber / Financial Times
Mexico’s oil liberalisation is now well under way, with the tender of a second lot of oil assets – nine fields grouped into five blocks – now set to join the 14 already announced. But do the country’s projections for future oil recovery add up?
The government is hoping that private investment in a sector closed for nearly 80 years under the monopoly of state oil company Pemex will succeed in turning around a decade of inexorable decline in Mexico’s oil output. Indeed, it has talked of adding 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) by 2018, when the government’s term is up.
Can it? Low oil prices have already forced the government to admit that it will not be able to offer some of the shale fields that had been among the initial line-up of 169 fields to be tendered this year. As a result, as Miguel Messmacher, income undersecretary, told reporters: “Obviously, lower prices will mean lower income for the Mexican state.” How much lower? No one is clear, yet.