Chevron signs contract for refined fuels terminal in Mexico

Hydrocarbons Technology / September 17

 

Chevron Combustibles de México has signed a long-term contract with Sempra Energy’s Mexican subsidiary, Infraestructura Energética Nova (IEnova), to use 50% of the initial capacity of the proposed Topolobampo refined fuels marine terminal.

IEnova is developing the refined fuels terminal in Sinaloa, Mexico, with an initial capacity of one million barrels.

Pursuant the contract, subsidiaries of Chevron will have storage capacity of 500,000 barrels of refined fuels.

In addition, Chevron will have an option to purchase up to 25% of the equity in the terminal following the commencement of commercial operations.

IEnova also signed a contract with an undisclosed US refiner for the remaining 50% of the facility’s initial storage capacity.

“The Topolobampo project provides an important supply source of refined fuels for Mexico.”

IEnova executive chairman Carlos Ruiz Sacristán said: “The Topolobampo project provides an important supply source of refined fuels for Mexico. Together, working with our customers, this terminal will increase reliability of supply, create jobs and provide benefits to millions of Mexican consumers.”

IEnova received a 20-year contract in July this year from the Topolobampo Port Administration Terminal to develop, construct and operate the marine terminal in Sinaloa.

The terminal involves an estimated investment of $150m and is expected to become operational in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Last week, IEnova reached a deal to allow British Petroleum to use 50% of the one-million-barrel initial capacity of the refined fuels Baja Refinados terminal, which is to be constructed in Baja California.

Earlier this year, Chevron booked the other 50% initial capacity of the Baja Refinados facility.

 

Hydrocarbons Technology / September 17

 

Línea Base Ambiental: Retos y Oportunidades para el Sector Hidrocarburos 

Los estudios de Línea Base Ambiental (LBA) son estudios de tipo técnico especializados que son requeridos por la Agencia de Seguridad, Energía y Ambiente(ASEA) de la Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT) a los regulados del Sector Hidrocarburos para: determinar las condiciones ambientales en las que se encuentran los componentes ambientales de las áreas contractuales, así como la identificación y registro de daños preexistentes y daños ambientales.

La LBA es también un insumo importante para la elaboración de las Manifestaciones de Impacto Ambiental, a efecto de cumplir con lo dispuesto en el contrato celebrado entre la Comisión Nacional de Hidrocarburos (CNH) y los Regulados. Los objetivos principales para la realización de los estudios de LBA son:

  • Identificar y describir la infraestructura existente en el área contractual y su estado actual físico y operacional para identificar y evaluar los daños ambientales que hayan sido generados por esta, para el deslinde de responsabilidades.
  • Identificar y evaluar las condiciones ambientales en que se encuentran los ecosistemas y recursos naturales, existentes en el área contractual y zona de influencia, previo a la ejecución de las actividades del contrato.
  • Evaluar los daños y pasivos ambientales ocasionados por las actividades humanas o procesos naturales en la zona contractual y de influencia a efecto de deslindarse de las responsabilidades

En el artículo 27, párrafo séptimo de la Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos, se establece que las actividades de exploración y extracción del petróleo y demás hidrocarburos se realizarán mediante asignaciones a empresas productivas del Estado o a través de contratos con éstas o con particulares, por lo que la presentación de la LBA ante la ASEA se traduce en una obligación para estas entidades.

Para orientar la elaboración de los estudios de LBA la autoridad a puesto a disposición de los regulados dos guias: a) “Guía para la elaboración y presentación de la Línea Base Ambiental previo al inicio de las actividades de Exploración y Extracción de Hidrocarburos en Áreas Terrestres” y b) la “Guía para la elaboración y presentación de la línea base ambiental previo al inicio de las actividades marinas de exploración y extracción de hidrocarburos en aguas someras”.

Es sumamente importante para los regulados que pretenden el aprovechamiento de zonas contractuales, el identificar, evaluar y detallar de manera precisa los daños ambientales preexistentes a través de los estudios de LBA, ya que solo podrán eximir su responsabilidad ambiental respecto a dichos daños, siempre y cuando hayan sido registrados manifestados en dichos estudios.

Considernado la relevancia que tienen los estudios de LBA para los regulados, en cuanto al deslinde de los pasivos ambientales y sociales preexistentes de las áreas contractuales, es fundamental que dimensionen la necesidad de que la elaboración de la LBA debe ser realizada por empresas o plataformas técnico-científicas de especialistas calificados y con capacidad demostrada para la realización de este tipo de estudios. El deslindarse de dichos pasivos a través de buenos estudios de LBA y no asumir ningun riesgo financiero, social, legal y ambiental, es uno se los mejores seguros para sostener la viabilidad de sus inversiones y no comprometer su reputación como empresa y regulado ante la eventualidad de que se generen contingencias ambientales.

Un buen estudio de LBA debe sustentar además, las bases para el diseño e implementación de los Sistemas de Manejo y Gestión Ambiental y Social (SMGAS) para la prevención, manejo, mitigación y monitoreo de impactos ambientales y sociales durante las fases de preparación, construcción, operación y mantenimiento de los proyectos o de las áreas contractuales que deberán ser establecidos en las manifestaciones de impacto ambiental, estudios del cambio de uso del suelo de terrenos forestales, evaluaciones de impacto social y estudios de riesgo ambiental que correspondan. El proceso de elaboración y evaluación de los estudios de LBA se presenta en la siguiente figura:

 

 

Con más de 20 años de experiencia, cobertura internacional y fuerte compromiso con la sustentabilidad, la innovación y la calidad de nuestros servicios en el sector hidrocarburos, energía, turismo, desarrollo urbano,  infraestructura, medio ambiente y minería; GPPA y nuestros socios estratégicos NRGI Brokers y Rodríguez Dávalos Abogados, asi como especialistas de diferentes institutos y centros de investigación, hemos conformado una plataforma técnico-cientifica de expertos nacionales e internacionales con la mayor capacidad en el país para ofrecer soluciones integrales y con valor agregado a los regulados del sector hidrocarburos, para resolver sus necesidades en materia de planeación, manejo, gestión ambiental y legal, desarrollo sostenible, fianzas y seguros de responsabilidad ambiental,  incluyendo la elaboración de estudios de LBA, Evaluación de Impacto Ambiental, Evaluación de Impacto Social, entre otros productos y servicios.

 

Para mayor información y cualquier duda o necesidad derivada de la información presentada en el presente boletín, estamos a su disposición a través de:

Consultores en Gestión Política y Planificación Ambiental, S.C.

David Zárate Lomelí

Director General

Teléfono: (998) 6 88 08 75

E-mail: dzarate@gppa.com.mx

www.gppa.com.mx

Mexico oil production to reach 2.6 mil b/d by 2025: Lopez Obrador

S&P Globals Platts / Wendy Wells / Daniel Rodríguez / September 11

 

Mexico City — Mexico’s President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Sunday he plans to focus on developing and exploring onshore and shallow water areas under the control of state oil company Pemex to boost the country’s oil production.

“We have a projection, and our plan is to have production of at least 2.6 million b/d by the end of the presidential term; additional production of 800,000 b/d,” Lopez Obrador said in webcast press conference.

Lopez Obrador was speaking to journalists after a meeting with Mexican drilling and oil service companies at Villahermosa in Tabasco.

Mexico’s production averaged 1.8 million b/d in July, down from an historical high of 3.4 million b/d in 2004, latest data from Mexico’s National Hydrocarbon Commission showed.

Lopez Obrador said the incoming administration plans to tender drilling contracts in December when his six-year term begins to develop Pemex’s shallow water and inland areas to boost oil production. “We are inviting all companies to participate in these tenders. However, we will have a preference over domestic contractors,” he added.

He said he planned to add Peso 75 billion ($3.9 billion) to Pemex’s exploration and production budget to boost drilling and thus raise output. The tenders will help Mexico reverse its production downtrend by the end of 2019, he added.

Mexico’s oil industry is at a crisis as a result of low public investment in the sector. Pemex in 2017 had an E&P capital expenditure budget of Peso 81.5 billion, down from Peso 222 billion in 2014, the company’s annual financial statements show. The cut in Pemex’s budget resulted in a significant decrease in drilling activity; it drilled 83 wells in 2017, compared with 705 in 2013.

Lopez Obrador blamed the previous administration for Pemex’s lower capital expenditure, claiming it was done on purpose amid expectations the private sector would offset lower activity from the state company. “It has been a complete failure, this wrongly named energy reform,” Lopez Obrador said

The president-elect has historically been an opponent of private participation in Mexico’s energy sector. His critics note Pemex’s spending cuts reflect lower global oil prices after 2014.

The president-elect neither mentioned the long-term nature of the energy sector nor the advances made by Eni at Amoca, PanAmerica with Hotchi and Talos with Zama, where peak production across the three fields could be above 250,000 b/d.

Analysts also point out that Lopez Obrador does not acknowledge that it has been a challenge for Mexico to replace production from the aging Cantarell super field, which produced 2.1 million b/d in 2003 and but 160,000 b/d in July.

Mexico won’t call for new hydrocarbon auction rounds until all 107 contracts awarded to date under the energy reform are reviewed for corruption, Lopez Obrador said.

“The majority aren’t working, there is no investment, but those 107 contracts don’t include all the oil regions in the country, just a fraction of Mexico’s hydrocarbon potential,” he added.

The president-elect did not indicate when this contract review process could conclude. Currently, Mexico’s National Hydrocarbon Commission is organizing two gas-rich auction rounds, which are expected to be awarded in February.

The commission postponed both auctions as well as a Pemex’s auction to farm out seven onshore clusters in southern Mexico from this summer until the coming year, citing a request from the industry for more time to analyze the areas as well as the opportunity to involve the incoming administration in the process.

Lopez Obrador said the state owns all of Mexico’s oil resources, and has greater control over areas that have not yet been assigned. “The greater majority of our oil potential is still under the control of Pemex,” he added.

 

S&P Globals / Wendy Wells / Daniel Rodríguez / September 11

 

The regime of strict liability in the activities of Exploration and Extraction of hydrocarbons

The General Administrative Provisions that establish the Guidelines on Industrial and Operational Safety and Environmental Protection to carry out the activities of Surface Recognition and Exploration, Exploration and Extraction of Hydrocarbons (DACG/E&E), were published in the Official Gazette of the Federation, issued by the National Agency for Industrial Safety and Environmental Protection of the Hydrocarbons Sector (ASEA), established  that those who carry out works or activities for the exploration and extraction of hydrocarbons are subject to a regime of strict liability, that is, they operate under the assumption that they are creating a risk to people and the environment and, therefore, in case of causing damage they must carry out its repair, without this being conditioned to prove their fault.

 

Derived from the above, ASEA imposes on operators the obligation to perform all actions necessary to prevent environmental damage arising from the risks created, for which they must contain, characterize and remedy them with opportunity under their own processes and according to the applicable legislation and regulations.

 

In this sense, the “DACG/E&E” establish that Exploration and Extraction activities must be carried out under certain principles, such as:

 

  1. Minimize the risks at a level that is as low as reasonably possible, that is, up to a level where it is demonstrated that the cost of continuing to reduce that risk is greater compared to the economic benefit that would be obtained. This allows a reasonable balance between economic activity and the protection of third parties and the environment.
  2. Regularly review the risk reduction measures in order to update them based on the technological development and specialized knowledge.

 

  1. Implement emergency measures and foster a culture of the protection of people, the environment and facilities.

 

The aforementioned principles are aimed at preventing the accidents from happening, so they must be complemented with measures that have as their object the repair and / or compensation of the damages caused by the an accident.

 

One of the most effective measures to achieve this is to have financial instruments that allow for the consequences of the materialization of risks, such as an insurance.

At NRGI Broker we are experts in insurance for the Exploration and Extraction of Hydrocarbons. Come to us.

 

U.S. oil prices rise as Gulf platforms shut ahead of hurricane

Reuters / Henning Gloystein / September 3

 

* Storm Gordon to make U.S. landfall as hurricane

* Brent dips as India takes steps to continue Iran imports

* Global oil markets have tightened since 2017 – Barclays

By Henning Gloystein

SINGAPORE, Sept 4 (Reuters) – U.S. oil prices edged up on Tuesday, rising back past $70 per barrel, after two Gulf of Mexico oil platforms were evacuated in preparation for a hurricane.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $70.04 per barrel at 0034 GMT, up 24 cents, or 0.3 percent from their last settlement.

Anadarko Petroleum Corp said on Monday it had evacuated and shut production at two oil platforms in the northern Gulf of Mexico ahead of the approach of Gordon, which is expected to come ashore as a hurricane.

International Brent crude futures, by contrast, lost ground, trading at $78.10 per barrel, down 5 cents from their last close.

This came as India allowed state refiners to import Iranian oil if Tehran arranges and insures tankers.

Many international shippers have stopped loading Iranian oil as U.S. financial sanctions against Tehran prevents them from insuring its cargoes.

Mirroring a step by China, where buyers are shifting nearly all their Iranian oil imports to vessels owned by National Iranian Tanker Co (NITC), this means that Asia’s two biggest oil importers are making plans to continue Iran purchases despite pressure by Washington to cut orders.

CHANGING MARKET

Britain’s Barclays bank said on Tuesday that oil markets had changed since 2017 when worries about rising supply were more evident.

“U.S. producers are resisting temptation and exercising capital discipline, OPEC and Russia have convinced market participants they are managing the supply of over half of global production, the U.S. is using sanctions more actively, and several key OPEC producers are at risk of being failed states,” Barclays said.

Crude oil “prices could reach $80 and higher in the short term”, the bank said, although it added that despite these developments global supply may exceed demand next year.

For 2020, Barclays said it expects Brent to average $75 per barrel, up from its previous forecast of just $55 a barrel.

French bank BNP Paribas struck a similar tone, warning of “supply issues” for the rest of the year and into 2019.

“Crude oil export losses from Iran due to U.S. sanctions, production decline in Venezuela and episodic outages in Libya are unlikely to be offset entirely by corresponding rises in OPEC+ production due to market share sensitivities,” the bank said.

“We do not expect oil demand to be materially impacted in the next 6-9 months by economic uncertainty linked to U.S./China trade tensions and recent concerns over emerging markets,” he added.

BNP Paribas expects Brent to average $79 per barrel in 2019.

 

Reuters / Henning Gloystein / September 3

 

The strategic value of the pipelines

The Five-Year Expansion Plan of the National Integrated Natural Gas Transportation and Storage System 2015-2019 contemplates the construction of more than 5,000 km of natural gas pipelines, with an estimated investment of close to 10,000 million dollars. For its elaboration, the National Infrastructure Program 2014-2018 was taken as a basis, in which the gas pipeline construction projects are planned, with an approach that seeks to guide the integral functionality of the new infrastructure of the country.

On the other hand, the main objective of the Quinquennial Plan is to bring natural gas, considered the most efficient fuel and of intensive use, to different areas of the country, among which are Hidalgo, Puebla, Veracruz, Aguascalientes, Durango, Michoacán, Guerrero, San Luis Potosi, Chihuahua, Sonora, Oaxaca, Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon, especially in industrial areas and those where up to now this hydrocarbon has not been accessed.

The foregoing is in line with one of the objectives of the Energy Reform, consisting of the safe, reliable and competitive supply of natural gas.

These new gas pipelines will be added to the more than 10,000 km already existing, and will increase the capacity of transportation of natural gas by 50%.

It is worth mentioning that the expansion of the gas pipeline network can bring with it a greater possibility of accidents, considering that the pipelines are one of the means of transport that present a greater frequency and severity of accidents, due to the fact that they are exposed to various hazards as: explosion, fire, natural phenomena and ill-intentioned acts.

Therefore, it is very important that during the construction and operation of the pipelines, the insurance coverage is adequate for the complexity of this means of transport, for which it must be taken into account that the damages may affect the infrastructure, people, their assets and the environment.

In NRGI Broker we are experts in designing comprehensive insurance schemes for the Hydrocarbons Sector, come to us.

 

Risks in the Hydrocarbons Sector

A risk, according to the Law of the National Agency for Industrial Safety and Environmental Protection of the Hydrocarbons Sector (ASEA), is the probability that an undesired event will occur, measured in terms of its consequences to personnel, to the population, to facilities and equipment and the environment. In short, a risk is the probability of an accident occurring.

In this regard, it is important to consider that “risk” is not synonym to “danger”, since the latter refers to the intrinsic conditions or characteristics of an object capable of causing harm, while the risk is the probability of that damage occurring. From the above it follows that there are situations and objects that are dangerous themselves and therefore have the potential to cause harm, that is, they represent a risk, which however can be controlled and minimized.

In terms of hydrocarbons, oil and gas are hazardous materials, given their explosive and flammable characteristics. Therefore, the activities in which they are involved represent a risk, hence they are legally defined as highly risky activities.

In addition to the intrinsic characteristics, the operations carried out throughout the hydrocarbon value chain are highly complex, since 1) they involve large-scale infrastructure: drilling platforms, ship-tanks, pipelines, storage terminals, others; 2) are carried out in conditions that may be extreme, for example, drilling an oil well in the sea or traveling long distances through a ship or a train; 3) Advanced technology and specialized personnel are required.

Derived from the above, it is necessary to take all the measures in risk management to avoid accidents from happening. However, although a risk can be prevented and controlled, it can not be eliminated completely, so in any case, it will be necessary to transfer it, with the aim of preventing a company from absorbing the total economic losses that a loss may represent and that they can translate into a significant patrimonial detriment.

A risk can be transferred to an insurance company, through an insurance contract in which the insurer is committed to the insured, who in return for a premium, will indemnify him in case he suffers a loss that causes losses economic, as long as the event corresponds to the insured object, conforms to the terms and conditions established in the policy and is not an exclusion.

In the SectorHydrocarbons Sector, there are specific insurances to cover the risks inherent to this activity, which have also been established as mandatory by the regulatory authority (ASEA), such as: 1) Well control; 2) Civil Liability and 3) Environmental Responsibility.

At NRGI Broker, we are experts in insurance for the Hydrocarbons Sector. Come to us.

 

Oil industry encouraged by Trump’s trade deal with Mexico

 

President Trump’s announcement with Mexico on Monday is being taken as an encouraging sign by the U.S. oil and natural gas industry.

“We are encouraged that negotiators have reached a preliminary agreement to modernize our trade relationships,” said Mike Sommers, the new president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, the oil industry’s top lobbyist in Washington.

“America’s natural gas and oil industry depends on trade to continue to grow U.S. jobs and our economy, and deliver for consumers,” he added.

Trump announced Monday morning that progress had been made toward a deal with Mexico on renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement. Negotiations with Canada, the final piece in the agreement, are still ongoing.

Trump called it a “big day for trade” and the nation in an Oval Office announcement in which he teleconferenced with outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

Energy has been a key aspect of the negotiations on a revamped version of NAFTA. However, no announcement on energy trade was made on Monday. The agreement with Mexico centered on ensuring that a higher percentage of automobiles sold in North America are made with parts produced on the continent.

Negotiations on an update to the free trade agreement had stalled in recent months amid disagreements over, among other things, provisions related to the automotive and energy industries. U.S. and Mexican negotiators, however, had made breakthroughs on those issues ahead of Monday’s announcement.

Jesus Seade, the incoming Mexican government’s chief NAFTA negotiator, said Sunday the energy issues have been “ironed out,” without going into detail, Reuters reported.

Mexico has become a large importer of U.S. natural gas and oil in recent years. Energy Secretary Rick Perry had visited Mexico ahead of Monday’s announcement. He was there to discuss “how the U.S. and Mexico can continue to work together to make North America a world-wide leader in energy production and exports,” Perry said last week in a tweet.

 

Washington Examiner/ John Siciliano / August 27

 

La “Reforma Energética”de 2013 significó una apertura al sector privadoen esferas antes reservadas exclusivamente a órganos gubernamentales, tales como los sectores de infraestructura, hidrocarburos y energía; propiciando un modelo estratégico en el que los inversionistas pueden ser participantes en el desarrollo de proyectos de estos rubros como Empresas Productivas del Estado (EPE).

Estas EPE cuentan con personalidad jurídica y patrimonio propios, así como cierta autonomía que las empresas paraestatales y empresas públicas carecen; otorgando la posibilidad de abrir los sectores señalados con anterioridad a un panorama competitivo en el mercado mexicano. Con este nuevo paradigma, las prospectivas de los sectores eléctrico, de hidrocarburos y de energías renovables se amplían, como lo demuestran las siguientes cifras dentro de los documentos emitidos por la Secretaría de Energía (Prospectivas 2017-2031):

  • La producción estimada de aceite (miles de barriles diarios) aumenta de 1,964 a 3,252 al año 2031.
  • En el 2016, la capacidad instalada del Sistema Eléctrico Nacional se ubicó en 73,510 MW; pronosticando que para el 2031, esta cifra aumente hasta 113,269 MW.
  • En el 2016, existía un balance en el que la Energía Convencional comprendía un 71.2% y la Energía Limpia un 28.8% de la capacidad instalada por tipo de tecnología; previendo para el 2031 que la Energía Convencional ocupe un 50.4% y la Energía Limpia un 49.6%.
  • El incremento esperado de procesamiento de crudo es de 79.6% para el periodo 2017-2031.

Estos son ejemplos de las altas expectativas que se tienen del crecimiento en cuanto a producción, desarrollo y consumo de Energía e Hidrocarburos en poco más de una década. Con lo anterior en consideración, se debe prever que Empresas Productivas del Estado podrán realizar las siguientes actividades encaminadas a alcanzar estos Pronósticos:

  • Sector Hidrocarburos:Exploración superficial marítima y sísmica terrestre; Exploración y Extracción de hidrocarburos; Tratamiento y Refinación de Petróleo; Transporte de Hidrocarburos, Petrolíferos y Petroquímicos; Almacenamiento de Hidrocarburos, Petrolíferos y Petroquímicos; Distribución de Gas Natural y Petrolíferos; Compresión, licuefacción, descompresión y regasificación de Gas Natural; y Expendio al público de Gas Natural y Petrolíferos.
  • Sector Electricidad:Generación de Energía Eléctrica y Servicio público de transmisión y distribución de energía eléctrica.

 

En este tenor, es importante mencionar que la realización de todas estas actividades requerirán de la presentación de un estudio técnico denominado Evaluación de Impacto Social (EVIS), el cual contiene la identificación de las comunidades y pueblos ubicados en el área de influencia de un proyecto, así como la identificación, caracterización, predicción y valoración de las consecuencias a la población que podrían derivarse del mismo y las medidas de mitigación y planes de gestión social correspondientes.

En congruencia con lo establecido en la Ley de la Industria Eléctrica (LIE) y la Ley de Hidrocarburos, el 01 de junio de 2018, se publicó en el Diario Oficial de la Federación el Acuerdo por el que se emiten las Disposiciones Administrativas de Carácter General sobre la Evaluación de Impacto Social en el Sector Energético(el “Acuerdo”).

Dentro de este Acuerdo, se establece la metodología y criterios necesarios para la presentación del EVIS, un avance para la calidad de estos estudios por motivos de que la regulación y los lineamientos necesarios para la su elaboración eran escasos y no existían lineamientos definidos que pudieran usarse como base para las Empresas Productivas del Estado.

Finalmente, no se debe perder de vista la estrecha relación existente entre la Evaluación de Impacto Social y la Evaluación de Impacto Ambiental (EIA), en el entendido que la primera es un prerrequisito para la autorización de la EIA. Es requisito para los regulados contar en forma previa con las autorizaciones de ambos estudios para el desarrollo de los proyectos encaminados a los sectores de Energía e Hidrocarburos. En la siguiente figura se muestra el proceso de elaboración y evaluación de las EVIS.

Con más de 20 años de experiencia, cobertura internacional y fuerte compromiso con la sustentabilidad, la innovación y la calidad de nuestros servicios en el sector hidrocarburos, energía, turismo, desarrollo urbano,  infraestructura, medio ambiente y minería; hemos conformado un catálogo de productos y servicios con valor agregado que resuelva en forma sistémica las necesidades de nuestros clientes y grupos de interés, en materia de planeación, manejo, gestión ambiental y desarrollo sostenible, incluyendo la elaboración de EVIS y la EIA. Para ello, ponemos a su disposición la red más amplia y especializada de expertos a nivel nacional e internacional, ofreciendo una plataforma integral en la materia, trazando las alternativas y estrategias necesarias para el correcto desarrollo de Proyectos Sustentables en México, entre ellos.

Para mayor información y cualquier duda o necesidad derivada de la información presentada en el presente boletín, estamos a su disposición a través de:

 

Consultores en Gestión Política y Planificación Ambiental, S.C.

David Zárate Lomelí

Director General

Teléfono: (998) 6 88 08 75

E-mail: dzarate@gppa.com.mx

www.gppa.com.mx

 

 

Energy Insurance Broker, Agente de Seguros y de Fianzas, S.A.P.I. de C.V.

Graciela Álvarez Hoth

CEO NRGI Broker

Teléfono: (55) 9177 2100

E-mail: graciela.alvarez@nrgibroker.com

www.nrgibroker.com

 

Is Mexico Set To Boost Oil Output?

Oil Price / By The Dialogue / August 16

 

On July 27, Mexican president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador said his government will earmark more than $9 billion for state-run energy companies next year and start working on a new oil refinery in southern Mexico. The moves seek to reduce reliance on fuel imports from the United States while boosting the country’s oil production, which has significantly fallen off in recent years. López Obrador did not say how he would fund his proposals, an omission that worries analysts concerned about Pemex’s already heavy debt burden. He also announced Octavio Romero Oropeza as the incoming head of Pemex. Will the promised investment help accelerate Pemex’s oil and gas production? What else is needed to boost output? How well prepared is Romero Oropeza to lead Pemex, and what should his priorities be? Four Mexican energy experts weighed in with their opinions on these developments.

George Baker, publisher of Mexico Energy Intelligence in Houston: The 116-page energy sector document that the Morena transition team issued on July 10 sports both good and bad ideas. First, among the good ideas, is advocating independent unions in the oil sector (the first time since 1935 that a political party has done this). Second is suspending until further review the so-called farm-outs of Pemex—the idea that civil servants (Pemex employees) and market-disciplined managers of oil companies can have a joint venture based on sharing risk and reward only makes sense on paper. Third is promoting the concept of intelligent cities, including low energy consumption, renewable energy and intelligent grids. A fourth good idea is expanding the grid of natural gas pipelines and the use of renewable energy sources and cogeneration. Among the bad ideas: first is reactivating the refinery project in Tula and analyzing the construction of another refinery in the Gulf of Mexico. Pemex refinery upgrades have gone badly for the past 20 years, notably in Cadereyta, Villahermosa and Tula. A new refinery could take three years just for design and another three for contracting and financing. López Obrador would likely leave office before the first shovelful of earth was turned for the new refinery. Second is the upgrade of the role of Pemex in the energy space. The Morena team proposes to eliminate the so-called ‘asymmetrical regulations’ that restrict Pemex to compete effectively—to aspire to ‘make Pemex great again’ as a state agency is to ignore global success stories of state oil companies with mixed-equity structures, market financing and professional management. Finally, a third bad idea is to overstate (and obfuscate) the potential for change via public policy: there is nothing that is actionable in statements such as ‘the necessary investments in Pemex should be made,’ or ‘efforts to increase exploration and production of natural gas should be made to favor the petrochemical industry,’ or ‘deepen and coordinate all efforts to eliminate the black market in petroleum products.’ Notably, one word that does not appear in the text is ‘corruption,’ an unexpected omission by a candidate that vowed to end corruption by example. Finally, former Pemex director general Adrián Lajous recently calculated the average tenure of a director general as two years and four months. Pemex, legally configured as an agency of the federal government, always has a dozen cooks in its kitchen of corporate governance. If a director general had the authority to order early retirement for 35,000 Pemex unionized workers, there would be opportunities for leadership.

David Shields, independent energy consultant based in Mexico City: In a previous comment for the Energy Advisor on June 15, I mentioned that President-elect López Obrador’s energy team has excellent, progressive plans in renewable energy. Sadly, the same does not apply to conventional energy. The naming of Octavio Romero and Manuel Bartlett to head state-run Pemex and the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) has been severely criticized because of their hardline political, ideological, non-technical, non-business nature. They may be okay for rooting out corruption, but they add to fears that recent energy reforms may be rolled back, even if they and López Obrador himself deny legal amendments will be made. Congress will ultimately decide on this, and the outlook there is bad. Reforms can be reversed in practice, anyway, just through day-to-day opposition. López Obrador says he will push oil output up sharply to 2.5 million barrels per day, but reserves and reservoirs are largely depleted, there are no new discoveries, and there is not enough money for a vast exploration effort. Foreign operators will need several years to develop their projects. His best bet for ramping up output quickly would be fracking, but he promises to prohibit that, thinking that environmental risks will be greater than the benefits. His refining plans are unrealistic, too. López Obrador´s native Tabasco State offers the wrong site and the wrong logistics for a large-scale refinery to be built in just three years. Such a project normally requires two years to study, plan and tender, then another five or six years to build. Even then, it can hardly be profitable if Mexico produces and processes only very heavy crude. Intentions to rescue Pemex and reduce reliance on energy imports are good, but the prospects are not.

 

Oil Price / By The Dialogue / August 16