Pemex Refinery Output Hits Lowest Since 1990

  • Four of seven major maintenance plans deferred last year
  • Pemex to boost output at five refineries by 20 percent in 2017

Petroleos Mexicanos’s refinery output in 2016 fell to the lowest level in 26 years as government budget cuts forced the Mexican state oil company to delay maintenance.

Only three of seven major planned maintenance projects were carried out in 2016, while Pemex’s six refineries registered as many as 88 unplanned unit stoppages during the year, according to company documents Bloomberg obtained through a records request.

Crude processing fell 12 percent in 2016 compared to a year ago to 933,062 barrels a day, the lowest yearly volume since 1990, when Mexico’s energy information agency, an arm of the Energy Ministry, started publishing the data.

“The key issue is that Pemex needs resources in order to boost output; without that it is very difficult to expect a more positive outcome,” Ixchel Castro, senior analyst for Latin American oils and refining markets at Wood Mackenzie, said Monday by phone from Mexico City.

Pemex aims to reverse last year’s production slump and increase output at the refineries of Cadereyta, Madero, Tula, Salamanca and Salina Cruz by a combined 20 percent compared with the year earlier, reaching 945,900 barrels day, according to the document and data compiled by Bloomberg. Pemex declined to provide an estimate for the refinery in Minatitlan.

Pemex said in November it will spend $120 million in the final two months of the year to improve operations.

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