Pemex Looks to Double Refinery Throughput, Take Business from Gulf Coast Refiners
01.03.2022 - NEWS

January 3, 2022 [Seeking Alpha] – The National oil company of Mexico, Pemex, is exporting ~1mb/d of crude oil, with ~60% flowing to the US and gulf-coast refineries, but the current CEO wants to change that.

 

At a press conference in Mexico City yesterday, CEO Octavio Romero shared plans to cut exports to ~430kb/d in 2022 and eliminate them entirely by 2023, as Pemex refineries ramp up to consume the domestic crude.

The Dos Bocas refinery, a 340kb/d plant currently under construction, will be fully operational in 2023 and account for ~1/3 of increased domestic crude consumption.

The Pemex downstream system processed ~1.2mb/d from 2010-2014 before utilization dropped to as low as 690kb/d in 2020.

Currently processing ~800kb/d, the Pemex system could increase runs ~400kb/d by simply returning existing refineries to historic utilization rates.

Cutting exports by the full 1mb/d appears to be a challenge, as running the legacy system at rates not seen in half a decade, and running the new Dos Bocas refinery at capacity would only reduce exports by ~780kb/d.

Nevertheless, 780kb/d of increase in oil production in Mexico and the Gulf region would cut into share for US Gulf Coast refiners like Valero (NYSE:VLO), Phillips (NYSE:PSX) and Marathon (NYSE:MPC), as well as reducing margins for integrated companies like Exxon (NYSE:XOM) and Chevron (NYSE:CVX).

In addition to cutting into market share, reduced Mexican exports would reduce the supply of heavy crude oil to the Gulf Coast system, leaving US refiners in search of additional heavy barrels from Canada, Venezuela and the Middle East.

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