Pemex E&P Head Hernandez Temporarily Reassigned After Accidents

Petroleos Mexicanos’ exploration and production director will be temporarily reassigned a week after a fatal oil platform collapse in the Gulf of Mexico.

Gustavo Hernandez, who was appointed E&P director last year, requested the 40-day reassignment and will move to a role focused on assisting Pemex to form partnerships with private companies that are seeking to enter Mexico’s recently opened oil industry, the official said. His former role will be temporarily overseen by his former chief of staff, Javier Hinojosa, as Pemex begins structural changes that were announced last year.

The reassignment comes after two fatal accidents in the past six weeks that killed nine oil workers and resulted in a loss of at least 238,000 barrels of crude. State-run Pemex, whose crude production has tumbled for 10 consecutive years since 2004, is hoping the entrance of foreign producers into Mexico’s oil industry will help offset declines.

Mexico City-based Pemex plans to partner with private producers in several fields this year to maximize oil output. Pemex’s first three partnerships will be announced Sept. 30, Deputy Energy Minister Lourdes Melgar has said.

Hernandez didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

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