CANCUN, Mexico (Reuters) – OPEC officials on Tuesday appeared undecided on how to respond if oil prices rose definitively above the $70-80 a barrel range they have praised this month, highlighting a looming challenge for the cartel.
Although prices have held calmly within this band for much of 2010, U.S. crude, currently around $82 a barrel, is near the top of its recent range, and some analysts said it could push even higher as demand from the United States and other industrialized nations rebounds as their economies recover.
MEXICO CITY/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Energy producers and consumers are experiencing a rare moment of harmony now that oil prices have stabilized near $80 a barrel, but deep conflict over how to keep markets stable lurks below the surface.
Oil consumers demand more access to reserves, while sellers fear that financial speculators, climate regulation and a move away from oil to alternatives could threaten their main source of revenue.
MEXICO CITY, March 25 (Reuters) – Mexican oil production
fell in February but at a far slower rate than in early 2009,
suggesting state oil monopoly Pemex is successfully controlling
the decline. Crude output was 5,000 barrels per day lower than in January at 2.61 million bpd and 2 percent below the year-ago level in February, Pemex [PEMX.UL] reported on Thursday. Production slumped 9 percent in February 2009. Sliding oil production has put pressure on Mexico's public finances, which depend heavily on export revenues to fund its federal budget. Pemex has struggled since 2004 to contain the rate of decline at its giant Cantarell field, which once pumped nearly two-thirds of Mexican oil output. Declining oil output was one of the main factors behind the decision of two bond rating agencies to downgrade Mexico's sovereign debt last year. <^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^> For a graphic on Mexican oil output click on: link.reuters.com/paq35j <^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^> Mexican officials said late last year Pemex had stabilized its output problems at Cantarell. While analysts are skeptical Pemex has solved the problem, the company is producing more oil than its 2010 operating plan assumes. The plan called for output of 2.54 million bpd in February and an average of just over 2.5 million bpd for the year. Mexico is among the top four exporters of crude oil to the United States. The slump in output, along with a growing reliance on imported gasoline and other refined products, threatens to turn the country into a net oil importer. Mexican crude exports averaged 1.198 million bpd in February compared with 1.238 million bpd in January and 1.257 million bpd in February 2009. Gasoline imports, historically volatile, rose to 329,200 bpd from 258,000 bpd a month earlier. Pemex is unlikely to quickly raise oil production and cut gasoline imports due to a legacy of underinvestment. The country is building a new oil refinery but it is unlikely to begin operations until at least 2015 and Pemex has yet to turn up any major discoveries in its offshore oil exploration campaign that would allow it to offset all of the anticipated declines at Cantarell and other fields. Total liquids production, which includes crude oil as well as condensates and natural gas liquids, was 2.988 million bpd in February, down 5,000 bpd from January, Pemex said. (Reporting by Robert Campbell; Editing by David Gregorio)
MEXICO CITY, March 19 (Reuters) – Mexican media group
Televisa <TLVACPO.MX>, Spain’s Telefonica <TEF.MC> and Mexican
cable television company Megacable <MEGACPO.MX> plan to jointly
bid for fiber optic cable capacity to be auctioned off by
Televisa said on Friday the three companies would hold
equal stakes in the joint venture bidding for two fiber optic
strands being tendered by Mexico’s state power monopoly.
TULA, Mexico, March 18 (Reuters) – Mexico added slightly
more crude oil and natural gas to its proven reserves last year
than in 2008 and posted a higher production replacement rate as
output declined, according to data released on Thursday.
President Felipe Calderon said state oil monopoly Pemex
[PEMX.UL] replaced 77 percent of the oil and gas it extracted
last year with proven new discoveries, up from a 71.8
replacement rate for 2008.
MEXICO CITY, March 3 (Reuters) – Mexico’s state oil monopoly Pemex improved
its exploration efforts in 2009, replacing more of its oil and gas production
than in previous years, according to preliminary estimates on Wednesday.
Pemex [PEMX.UL] said it discovered enough new proven oil and gas reserves
to replace 74.9 percent of its 2009 production, up from a replacement rate of
72 percent in 2008.
MEXICO CITY, March 1 (Reuters) – The equity in Mexico’s
state oil monopoly Pemex was wiped out in the final quarter of
2009 as losses on refined product sales, lower crude output and
high taxes offset higher crude prices.
Pemex [PEMX.UL] said on Monday it lost 16.6 billion pesos
($1.3 billion) in the fourth quarter of 2009, pushing the full
year loss up to 46.1 billion pesos.
MEXICO CITY, Feb 18 (Reuters) – Mexico’s state oil company
Pemex is mulling a $377 million upgrade of crude oil treatment
facilities to fix quality problems in its main export blend,
people familiar with the plan said on Thursday.
The project, which has not yet been released for tender,
envisions the construction of new equipment at the Dos Bocas
oil terminal that would cut the water and salt content in Maya
crude oil, said one of the people who had seen a Pemex
[PEMX.UL] presentation on the project.
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (Reuters) – Costa Ricans voted on Sunday in an election that could see Laura Chinchilla, a protege of Nobel peace laureate President Oscar Arias, become the nation’s first female leader.
Chinchilla, who would follow Arias’ policies in the stable Central American nation, expanding free-trade accords and courting foreign investment, led polls before the vote. But a spurt by upstart conservative Otto Guevara could cut her lead short of the 40 percent she needs to avoid a runoff.
HOUSTON, Jan 28 (Reuters) – U.S. oil major ConocoPhillips
Co <COP.N> wants to grab a bigger chunk of global oil trading,
including markets where it has not normally been active, three
people familiar with the firm’s plans said this week.
The move marks a departure from ConocoPhillips conservative
approach to trading. The company, in its 2008 annual report
filed with U.S. securities regulators, described its trading
business as “limited” and said it was “immaterial” to the
company’s earnings or cash flow according to regulatory