Mar 19, 2023
Mexico Celebrates Oil Anniversary Amid Decade of Output Declines
(Bloomberg) -- Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador led a celebration in the capital’s main square on the anniversary of the country’s 1930s expropriation of the oil industry, stressing that his government was turning around the fortunes of the state oil giant Petroleos Mexicanos after years of neglect and decline.
Because of increased exploration and investment in refineries, Mexico will be self-sufficient in oil products next year, the president, known as AMLO, told tens of thousands of cheering supporters Saturday.
“We are going to process all our own raw materials,” AMLO said at the end of a 70 minute speech. “Long live petroleum expropriation! Love live Mexico!”
Since coming into power in late 2018, AMLO has sought to dial back the 2013 to 2014 energy reforms of his predecessor that opened Mexico’s oil sector to private investment after almost eight decades in which Pemex held a monopoly. He’s promised to return Pemex to its former glory, and set about building a seventh refinery in his home state of Tabasco in a bid for Mexico to become self-sufficient in fuel generation.
The policy was working, AMLO said Saturday. “Next year, we won’t import any gas or diesel.”
Energy Minister Rocio Nahle said on Thursday that the government will develop 225 rehabilitation projects for its refineries this year, bringing its investment in maintenance and upgrades to 62.9 billion pesos since 2019.
Stiil, in spite of his pledge to reverse about a decade of oil declines, Pemex’s production has fallen three out of four years of AMLO’s administration. The company’s debt is the highest of any oil producer in the world, at $107.7 billion by the end of 2022.
Pemex’s Onshore Drilling Leads to Big Gas Finds, Less Oil (1)
Pemex has traditionally used the March 18 anniversary to tout new projects and discoveries. In some cases, though, the announcements have involved initiatives that are eventually canceled or finds that were made by previous administrations. In its business plan in December, Pemex said that its crude and condensate production goal is 1.97 million barrels a day in 2023, and 2.5 million daily barrels by 2028.
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.
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