Mexico City, Dec 28 (EFE).- Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) will cease exporting crude in 2023 as part of the government’s strategy to make Mexico self-sufficient in energy, the CEO of the state oil company said Tuesday.
“Practically 100 percent of Mexican crude will be refined in our country to guarantee the supply of fuel,” Octavio Romero Oropeza said during President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s daily morning press conference at the Palacio Nacional.
The Pemex boss presented a report on 10 steps the company is taking to advance the “energy transformation” promised by Lopez Obrador.
In the three years since the current administration took office, Romero said, Pemex has increased crude production from 1.71 million to 1.74 million barrels per day and the firm is confident of reaching 2 million bpd by December 2024.
The shift in focus can be seen in refining activity – up from 506,000 bpd in December 2018 to 714,000 bpd now – and a reduction of crude exports from 1.19 million bpd to 1.02 million bpd.
“And in 2023 and 2024 practically all of the Pemex production is going to be processed, going to be refined,” Romero said.
Energy Secretary Rocio Nahle said that Pemex has boosted refining capacity with the rehabilitation of six existing facilities in Mexico and the recent acquisition of the Deer Park refinery in Texas.
Pemex is also building a new refinery in southeastern Mexico.
“When we arrived on Dec. 1, 2018, we found utilization at 32 percent. Today we are ending this year at nearly 50 percent utilization of the national refining system and by 2024 we will be leaving it at 86 percent, and with this we will be achieving self-supply in Mexico,” Nahle said.
The leftist Lopez Obrador, known as AMLO, vowed to end Mexico’s dependence on imports of gasoline, diesel and other fuels and to “rescue” Pemex, which was in dire straits after decades of corruption and mismanagement.
After record losses of $21.4 billion in 2020, Pemex has benefited from $19 billion in government support this year, according to rating agency Moody’s.
Exports of crude were once Mexico’s main source of hard currency, but by 2019, the value of the Aztec nation’s vehicle exports was twice that from oil.
During the same year, Mexico spent almost $30 billion on imports of refined petroleum products.