MEXICO CITY, Aug 30 (Reuters) – Mexico’s state oil company
Pemex is increasingly optimistic about the potential of what
appears to be a new cluster of light crude oil fields around
its Tsimin discovery, according to company executives.
The side-by-side Tsimin and Xux discoveries are believed to
hold the equivalent of 1.5 billion barrels of proved, probable
and possible oil reserves said Manuel Teran, a Pemex engineer
working on the discoveries, at a petroleum engineering
conference this weekend.
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s state oil company Pemex is studying a plan to import crude for the first time in over 30 years to improve the profitability of its refineries, according to two sources familiar with the proposal.
The plan was first discussed by top managers of Pemex’s PEMX.UL refining subsidiary in March, the sources said.
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – State oil monopoly Pemex is struggling to sidestep mounting lawlessness in remote areas of northern Mexico, underscoring how the country’s escalating drug war has touched a once relatively immune industry.
Pemex and the private firms it employs have scaled back drilling, maintenance and other activities at some isolated sites in the natural-gas-rich Burgos basin due to deteriorating security, a senior executive with a large Pemex contractor in the region said.
MEXICO CITY, July 29 (Reuters) – Mexico’s state oil company
Pemex has this year drilled the fewest wells in search of new
crude and natural gas reservoirs since 2001, raising doubts
over its drive to sustain production as major fields age.
The world’s No.7 oil producer neglected exploration for
years but has been forced to step up efforts since 2004 as the
natural decline of its aging giant oil fields threatens the
stability of government finances.
NUEVO CAMPECHITO, Mexico (Reuters) – Within a week of the explosion of Mexico’s Ixtoc offshore oil well in June, 1979, Misterveel Rodriguez and other village fishermen were pulling up nets choked with tarballs instead of red snapper.
Ixtoc’s blowout caused the world’s worst ever oil spill. More than 140 million gallons of crude poured into the Gulf of Mexico, eventually washing up on beaches in Texas, hundreds of miles away. That is roughly three times more than what has so far spewed into the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – BP Plc’s race to cap its ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico is eerily similar to a 1979 accident off the coast of Mexico that caused the world’s worst oil spill.
In both cases natural gas flowed unnoticed into the well being drilled, causing an explosion. In both cases a critical piece of fail-safe equipment — the blowout preventer — failed. And in both cases the operators struggled to quickly staunch the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
LA JOLLA, California (Reuters) – Mexico may build up to 10 new nuclear power stations by 2028 under one scenario being evaluated by the state electricity monopoly, the company said in a presentation on Wednesday.
Mexico’s Federal Electricity Commission, or CFE, currently has four scenarios for new power generation capacity from 2019- 28 that range from a heavy reliance on coal-fired power plants to meet growing demand to a low-carbon scenario that calls for big investments in nuclear and wind power, said Eugenio Laris, who is in charge of investment projects at the company.
MEXICO CITY, May 11 (Reuters) – Driving home along rough, poorly lit roads to the southern Mexican city of Villahermosa, an oil executive and his driver stopped at a roadside eatery for dinner when they were cornered by armed men.
The gunmen seized Nestor Martinez, who manages a production unit for energy monopoly Pemex in the oil-rich state of Tabasco, and sent his driver on to deliver the news he had been kidnapped, industry sources say.
Martinez was released a few days after his abduction last month but a spate of kidnappings of Pemex executives has shaken the oil industry in a country where drug cartels and organized crime gangs are increasingly spooking foreign investors.
"Everyone has heard about it but there has been no official statement. It’s really frightening," said a Pemex employee in Villahermosa, who declined to be identified because he is not authorized to speak with reporters.
A Pemex spokesman declined to comment on the case, and the industry sources could not confirm local media reports that a large ransom was paid to free Martinez, also president of the national petroleum engineers’ association.
Mexico is in the grip of a brutal drugs war that has killed some 23,000 people, mainly traffickers and police, since President Felipe Calderon took power in late 2006. The army crackdown launched by Calderon has fanned turf wars between rival gangs and battles against security forces.
Extortion of businesses and kidnapping is rife, although many abductions are not reported because of a widespread mistrust of Mexico’s police, so numbers are hard to pin down.
Businesses often deal with private security experts rather than the police when executives are abducted and they usually try to keep cases quiet for fear of attracting more criminal attention.
Calderon’s government has appealed to the public to report more crimes, and around 100 kidnappings a month were reported to authorities last year, a more than 80 percent jump on 2008, according to Mexican consultancy RRS y Asociados.
PEMEX A TARGET
Organized crime in Mexico is dominated by powerful drug gangs that hold sway in different areas, running everything from cocaine-smuggling routes to car thefts.
A majority of firms surveyed by the American Chamber of Commerce of Mexico said earlier this year they felt less safe than before. More than a quarter said they were reconsidering their investment plans in Mexico due to security concerns.
"We have clients that in the past year have spent a lot of money on physical security and many are now restricting the travel of their executives," said Fred Burton, vice president of intelligence at U.S. security consultancy Stratfor.
Burton estimates official Mexican statistics may only account for a third of all abductions. "It’s not uncommon for a senior executive to fly into the country and leave the same day rather than take the risk of staying overnight."
Martinez is the fourth Pemex employee to be abducted from his production unit since March, according to a Tabasco newspaper. A fifth Pemex employee, who works in petrochemicals, was also abducted recently, the paper reported.
"This is not a good development for the oil industry and shows security is a growing concern," said a U.S. consultant who works with Pemex, asking not to be quoted by name.
Security concerns are unlikely to lead to an exodus of oil services companies from Mexico due to the lucrative work doled out by Pemex as it struggles to halt declining oil production.
But the abductions are one more headache for Pemex which already struggles with criminal gangs and corrupt employees pilfering some $750 million of fuel and oil from its pipelines each year and stealing valuable spare parts and equipment.
Calls have intensified to move Mexico’s annual petroleum conference in June from the Gulf coastal city of Tampico in the drug-gang infested state of Tamaulipas to a safer location.
"Nobody wanted to go to Tampico before but now there is a lot pressure to change the location. Who wants to send their executives there?" said a person at a Pemex contractor. (Editing by Catherine Bremer and Kieran Murray)
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Foreign energy companies could be at work in Mexico’s oil sector for the first time in more than seven decades as soon as the end of 2010, a senior executive of Mexico’s state oil monopoly Pemex said on Monday.
Pemex intends to award up to 14 contracts to private companies to boost production at marginal onshore oil fields along the Gulf Coast and at its Chicontepec project, Pemex’s exploration and production chief Carlos Morales said at the Reuters Latin American Investment Summit in Mexico City.
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican crude oil output, which has been stable since September, will soon resume its fall and the medium-term outlook is increasingly cloudy due to doubts surrounding two major projects.
State oil monopoly Pemex has kept production around 2.6 million barrels per day for six of the last seven months, prompting officials to forecast Mexico has overcome the worst of its five-year slide in oil output.