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Mexico Set to Slash Oil Exports by Over 300,000 Bpd in May

Mexico is planning to cut the amount of crude oil it exports by 330,000 barrels daily next month as it redirects supply to local refineries.

The volume to be cut represents a third of the total that Mexico sells abroad, Reuters noted in a report, which also said 330,000 bpd is the minimum that will get redirected from overseas market to local refineries.

This month, Pemex slashed oil exports by 436,000 barrels daily as Mexican refineries ramp up, including the new Dos Bocas facility, which will take in some 179,000 bpd this year. The refinery’s nameplate capacity is 340,000 barrels daily.

The reduction in exports was necessary because Pemex’s output has been on a steady decline due to natural depletion and not enough new discoveries. In February, the daily average fell to the lowest in 45 years, Reuters said in its report.

Currently, Pemex processes half of its daily crude oil output, which stands at an average of 1.8 million barrels, according to a recent update by Mexico’s President, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

This means the export shrinkage could deepen further. Last year, Pemex exported an average daily of 1.03 million barrels, according to Reuters. This year, the average for the first two months of the year fell to 945,000 barrels daily.

The Mexican energy ministry expects oil processing rates to rise to 1.04 million barrels daily this year, which, based on 2023 export figures suggests Mexico might well have to stop exporting crude as a whole. But this depends on the Dos Bocas refinery ramping up in accordance with government plans, which is not guaranteed.

Right now, the Mexican state firm is also facing a sharp drop in production following a fire on an offshore platform that forced the shutdown of several wells. The amount lost is yet to be determined.


By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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