According to the Petroleum Indicator of the Petroleos Mexicanos state oil monopoly, more familiarly known as Pemex, between January and July 2011, foreign gasoline purchases averaged 397,300 barrels per day, which represents 49.8 percent of the country's total consumption.
Gasoline imports also increased 11.1 percent, compared to the same period in 2010, Reforma newspaper reported. This meant increased funding for imports, as the Petroleum Indicator put the value of oil imports, of which the majority was gasoline, at a final cost of $16.871 billion, 51.9 percent more than in the first seven months of 2010.
In order to decrease the balance of payments issue Pemex has considered investing in the construction of refineries, but C Estrategia analyst Francisco Fernandez-Castillo observed, "Refining is not as profitable because it is a process that is much more competitive, which is one way to put it, and with much more restricted prices, both in terms of supplies as well as products. On an economic level we are not talking about an activity that is extraordinarily profitable and every peso that Pemex has will obviously first be considered for extraction and exploration rather than for refining. Especially extraction, which is the most profitable part for the country."
By. Charles Kennedy, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com