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Mexico’s state energy major Pemex has increased its oil output and the amount of crude it feeds into its refineries, with exports to the U.S. and Asia declining over the first quarter of the year by 3.6 percent.
The company reported a net profit of US$4.67 billion (88 billion pesos) for the period, up from a loss of US$3.29 billion (62 billion pesos) a year earlier, boasting revenues of US$18.53 billion (349 billion pesos). This was the second quarter with a positive net performance for the company, after eight quarters in the red.
Crude oil output, Pemex reported, averaged 2.018 million bpd in the period, in line with company targets. Offshore production in the Gulf of Mexico accounted for the bulk of the output, at 81 percent, versus 19 percent for onshore production.
Refinery runs jumped by 21 percent in the three-month period, Pemex also said in the presentation of its first-quarter financial results, with the daily average at 948,000 barrels of oil, up from 784,000 bpd in the last quarter of 2016, but down from the 1.081 million bpd processed on average in the first quarter of 2016. By April, Pemex said, refinery runs should hit an average of 1.1 million bpd.
Fuels production averaged 959,000 barrels per day, up from 802,000 bpd in October-December 2016. Refining margins remained relatively stable in the last two quarters, at US$5.01 per barrel for Q4 2016 and US$4.91 per barrel in Q1 2017. That’s substantially higher than the US$2.65 per barrel, recorded for the third quarter of 2016 but also notably lower than the US$7.71 average for the second quarter of last year.
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Bloomberg notes that in the downstream division, Pemex has reaped the benefits from a change in government policy towards fuel prices, which caused outrage among Mexicans when prices at the pump were hiked by as much as 20 percent at the start of 2017, in a bid to harmonize them with international prices.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.