Mexico imports more gasoline as oil production drops

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, Apr. 22 -- Mexico's gasoline imports rose to 360,700 b/d in March, the highest level since November 2007. This coincided with a 7.8% decline in the country's oil production in this year's first quarter to 2.91 million b/d, largely due to declining output from traditional oil fields.

State-owned Petroleos Mexicanos said March gasoline imports were up 6.5% compared with February, largely due to increasing numbers of cars in the country that consume some 41% of total supply.

Gasoline imports are projected to increase by 58% to 489,000 b/d by 2015 unless new refining capacity comes online, according to a recent report by the energy ministry. It said Pemex has not built a refinery since 1979.

Pemex is already drafting plans for a plant with two separate refining trains that would process 300,000 b/d by about 2015.

Elsewhere, Pemex's Minatitlan refinery will add 100,000 b/d in capacity in 2009.

Still, to fully reduce imports, officials say Mexico will need to build a refinery every 3-4 years over the next 2 decades.

Oil production drop
Mexico's premier Cantarell field produced 1.15 million b/d of oil in March, down 5.7% from February and—according to the energy ministry—the seventh straight month of waning production at the field.

During the first quarter, production from Cantarell averaged 1.2 million b/d, which was less than the 1.3 million b/d Pemex had targeted for the year.

Due to the reduced output, Mexico's exports of oil fell by 12.5% to 1.5 million b/d in the quarter, compared with the year-ago period.

Despite its falling crude production, Pemex witnessed a 13.2% growth in its natural gas production in the first quarter to 6.59 bcfd.

In March alone, gas production hit a record 6.68 bcfd, coming largely from fields at Cantarell, Samaria-Luna, Burgos, Lankahuasa, and Veracruz.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

Related Articles

Phillips 66 considers splitter at Sweeny refinery

03/21/2014 Phillips 66 is evaluating the potential for the addition of a condensate splitter near its 247,000-b/d Sweeny refinery in Old Ocean, Tex., just sou...

Second small diesel refinery planned for North Dakota

03/21/2014 Quantum Energy Inc. (QEI), Tempe, Ariz., said it has secured land for the construction of a 20,000-b/d grassroots hydroskimming refinery in North D...

Flint Hills settles Port Arthur pollution case

03/20/2014 Flint Hills Resources (FHR) has reached a settlement with the US federal government to implement innovative technologies to control harmful air pol...

WoodMac: Global ethylene demand, production on the rise

03/20/2014 Ethylene-producing assets that have access to low-cost natural gas feedstocks, such as the ones in North America, will lead the competition in glob...

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected