For a long time, the impact of the collapsing Petrodollar was concentrated almost entirely on African and Mid-east oil exporting nations, of which none has been impacted more perhaps that ground zero itself, Saudi Arabia, which has seen a record surge in its budget deficit as a result of collapsing oil revenue - the result of its ongoing war with the U.S. oil and gas sector and low cost "marginal" producers around the globe. Then slowly, the commodity woes spread to supposedly unshakable, developed nations, such as Norway and Canada, both of which are currently troubled by the impact of plunging crude prices on state revenues and downstream budgets.
Today, another country exposed just how troubled its energy sector has become when Mexico's largest, state-owned company, Petroleos Mexicanos also known as Pemex, announced not only its 13th consecutive quarterly loss amounting to $9.3 billion, 44 percent bigger than the previous year, as revenue tumbled by 28 percent to $15.8 billion, but also a gargantuan $32 billion annual loss and at the same time announced it would slash capex spending to preserve cash and optionality for a future which suddenly looks very bleak.
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In a budget report issued today, Pemex also pledged to meet the government’s request that it trim its 2016 budget by 100 billion pesos ($5.5 billion). Pemex will cut as much as $3.6 billion in spending by delaying projects, including expensive offshore wells, Jose Antonio Gonzalez Anaya, the company’s CEO, said in a conference call with investors. Pemex will pursue partners for any future deepwater development, Gonzalez Anaya said.
The report follows an announcement by the state of Mexico to cut back on its lifeline to the troubled oil giant when on February 17 it said it plans to cut 100 billion pesos ($5.5 billion) from the oil giant’s budget in a move aimed at stemming the depreciation of the peso and limiting inflation in Latin America’s second-largest economy amid the slump in international crude prices.
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As Bloomberg reports, Pemex lost about $32 billion in all of 2015 as oil prices plunged and the company’s crude output fell for an 11th straight year, according to a financial report released Monday. Pemex hasn’t recorded a profit since 2012. The company had more than $87 billion in debt at the conclusion of the third quarter and owes an estimated $7 billion to service providers.
"These adjustments do not weaken Pemex, they strengthen it," Gonzalez Anaya said on the call, but that promise sounded hollow especially after the CEO also said on the call that while the company is not facing a solvency crisis, it is facing short-term financial difficulties, prompting some to wonder just what skeleton will come out of the closet if the oil price remains as low as it has been. He also added that the company is now looking for alternative ways to fund refining operations. It is unclear what the non-alternative way is but we assume it has to do with issuing more debt, an avenue which may be closed for the time being.
But the scariest news not only for Mexico's largest company, but for the energy sector in general, was Pemex' announcement that it was slashing its oil price forecast by 50 percent from $50 to $25/bbl...
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... a price which if realized will mean that all those who have been buying energy ETFs in hopes of finding the oil bottom will end up with another round of big, fat, oily donuts, because unlike Pemex no U.S. shale company has the explicit backing of the U.S. government. At least not yet.
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