Deals, Mergers & Acquisitions
• Mexico's state-run Pemex is in talks with the US Commerce Department to import 100,000 barrels per day of light crude to raise Mexico's gasoline production and boost its refineries. In return, Pemex would send its heavy oil to US Gulf Coast refineries. This would represent another step towards subtly easing the US ban on oil exports. Pemex’s proposal could have the benefit of reducing transportation costs and improve refining margins—at the same time maximizing refining potential in both countries.
• Egypt will seal a deal with Russia's Gazprom for the company to supply it with LNG shipments later this month. If successful, the Gazprom deal would be the second LNG import agreement since Egypt finalized a deal for the necessary import infrastructure in November. Egypt signed an agreement with Algeria for six LNG cargoes in late December.
• Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is seeking several billion dollars from Qatari lenders to fill a budget gap created by slumping oil prices. This follows similar announcements of deals Venezuela made in recent weeks—most notably, $20 billion in Chinese investment and a deal with Iran to finance housing for the poor.
• Malaysia’s Sona Petroleum Bhd has scrapped plans to buy a stake in two oil and gas blocks from London-listed oil exploration and production firm Salamander Energy Plc in the Gulf of Thailand for $280 million.