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Mexico O&G watch: Pemex refining budget, new discoveries

Bnamericas Published: Friday, August 05, 2022

Mexican oil and gas giant Pemex strained its budget earmarked for refining during the first half of 2022.

According to the company's latest results presentation, its refining arm PTI had invested 52.3bn pesos (US$2.57bn) as of the end of June, over 90% of its total budget for the year.

The funds exclude those earmarked for the US$12bn Olmeca refinery in Tabasco state, a project funded directly by the federal government and for which Pemex was allocated 45bn pesos this year. But it includes the company's investments in its six existing refineries as well as the recently acquired Deer Park plant in Texas.

Paramount are the ongoing US$4.5bn rehabilitation of the coking plant at the Tula refinery, with works expected to be completed next year, and a new US$3bn coking plant at the Salina Cruz refinery, with a tender expected to be launched this year. The firm also invested nearly US$600mn to acquire Deer Park last year.

During the second quarter, PTI produced 805,000b/d of derivatives, up 22.6% over the same period last year.

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Mexico's oil and gas sector saw six new discoveries in Q2, four of them by state-owned Pemex.

The total matches the discoveries made during the first quarter of the year, although volumes were only half as those found during that period. In 2Q21 seven discoveries were made, but total volumes were 1,318% higher.

Regarding the national oil firm's discoveries, two of them were made in shallow waters, in the Sureste basin off the coast of Tabasco state, and two of them onshore, one in Veracruz and the other in Tabasco state.

The Pokché offshore discovery contains 14Mboe (million barrels of oil equivalent), 15% less than originally estimated by the firm, with 9.4Mb of light crude and 24Bf3 (billion cubic feet) of gas.

The Macuil discovery, located in a neighboring area, showed results totaling only 10% of Pemex's original expectations, and is estimated to contain 600Mb of 33°API light crude and associated natural gas.

Onshore, Pemex found the Actul field in Veracruz, which it estimates to contain 31.5Mboe, three times what the company expected, split between 29Mb of 30°API light crude and 13.5Bf3 of natural gas.

In Tabasco state, the Cibix field was found to contain 40Mb of 13° API heavy crude, five times the amount originally estimated by Pemex.

Pantera Exploración y Producción made the Pasuku discovery in Tabasco, estimated to contain 12Bf3 of dry gas, while Operadora Bloque 12 (a Grupo Carso subsidiary) found 8.94Bf3 of gas in its Ochpán discovery in Veracruz.

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