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Mexico’s Pemex Moves to Boost Maritime Fleet

Mexican state-owned oil giant Pemex is moving swiftly to boost its maritime fleet with confirmation of a deal to acquire a majority share in a Spanish shipyard, a shipyard deal with Singapore and talks of a potential deal with South Korea also underway.

Mexico’s state-run Pemex currently produces around 2.5 million barrels of crude oil per day and exports around 1.2 million barrels per day. The company is seeking to boost its sea fleet by about $800 million, which will include replacing 132 vessels.

On 26 November, news agencies confirmed that Pemex will acquire a 51% share in Spain’s Barreras shipyard in the north-western region Galicia in a deal aimed at rejuvenating Spain’s shipbuilding industry and boosting Mexico’s oil industry.

Related article: Despite Reforms, Brazil and Mexico Lack Energy Investment

A letter of intent for the deal was signed in May this year and will likely lead to the contracting of new vessels.  

“The deal opens the way for the development of capabilities in the medium term for the construction of specialized ships in Mexico, allowing the petroleum industry, among others, to benefit from the technological development of the Galician shipbuilding sector," Pemex said in a statement.

The deal confirmation comes less than a year after Pemex signed contracts for two flotels to be built at Barreras and the state-owned Spanish shipyard Navatia for an estimated $392 million. In April, there was talk of investment of around $240 million in Pemex’s fleet in relation to this deal.

The company also intends to contract 14 tugs, seven to be built in Galicia and seven in Mexican yards. The plans are part of a broader program of at least $800 million for the company to revamp its fleet, what involves replacing 132 ships.

Within Pemex’s fleet, over 80 ships assigned to exploration and production must be revamped or replaced by 2015, while over 50 vessels in the company’s refinery division are slated for renewal between in 2013/2014.  

Related article: BP Adds Two New Rigs to Gulf of Mexico Deepsea Fleet

In October, Pemex signed an agreement with Singapore's Keppel Offshore & Marine to develop a shipyard at Altamira, on Mexico's Gulf coast, for the construction of offshore rigs and large vessels.

The total cost of the yard is estimated at $400 million.

Pemex may also look to sign contracts with South Korean shipyards, which already have built several tankers for the company.

By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com


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