Pemex watch: debt relief, priority fields

Bnamericas Published: Wednesday, December 14, 2022
Pemex watch: debt relief, priority fields

The Mexican government could resume direct transfers of funds to public oil and gas giant Pemex next year due to the company's tight debt repayment schedule.

Pemex CEO Octavio Romero Oropeza told press late on Tuesday that his team was asking the finance ministry for more support, given that the calendar of debt repayments looks to be burdensome for the firm, especially in the first quarter of 2023.

"We have paid [our debts] so far," Oropeza said. "It's not easy. Even though the price of crude has been very good, in the months prior to that it reached a difficult point."

Pemex is expected to pay back some US$8bn in 2023, according to its latest investor presentation. In 2024, its debt commitments would climb to US$8.7bn, before dropping to US$4.6bn in 2025 then rising again to US$8.2bn in 2026. The company's total debt pool is now at US$104bn, Pemex said.

The government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has long covered a portion of Pemex's debt payments via the public treasury to help the company free up resources for new investment. However, that support was suspended in early 2022, as rising crude oil prices meant that the company would face fewer financial constraints this year. 

The government has also progressively reduced Pemex's main duty, the shared utility tax (DUC), since 2020.


Pemex has also said production from its "priority fields" surged in the third quarter of the year, with the firm adding 120,000b/d in December average production compared with that in September.

Output from the 36 onshore and shallow-water fields on which Pemex has bet its main short-term investment push is expected to close the year at 522,000b/d of oil, including condensates, the company said, up from 295,000b/d in 2021.

Pemex also said it would focus its 2023 development drive on three fields, Quesqui, Ixachi and Tupilco. It will also try to slow the decline of the legacy Ku-Maloob-Zaap asset, which is still the country's most productive oil field.

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