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Oil trader Novum Energy bests AMLO
with Mexico injunction to import fuels

Novum Energy, can keep importing gasoline and diesel from the U.S. into Mexico

- Novum Energy was granted temporary relief by federal court
- Mexico is biggest buyer of gasoline exported by U.S.

By Lucia Kassai/Bloomberg

Petroleumworld 08 11 2021

An oil trader won the right to temporarily keep importing fuels into Mexico after the government of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador didn't renew its import licenses.

Novum Energy, based in the British Virgin Islands, can keep importing gasoline and diesel from the U.S. into the Latin American nation, a federal court in Mexico ruled on Monday. The injunctive relief for the company's Mexican subsidiary suspends the effects of the decision by the Energy Ministry to not renew Novum's licenses, according to the court decision.

The Energy Ministry didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The government of AMLO, as the president is known, is stripping private companies of permits as it seeks to help the state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos to regain market share. Private companies had won terrain after a 2014 landmark law touted by AMLO's predecessor ended Pemex's monopoly in the sector. Some of the world's biggest oil companies, including Exxon Mobil Corp. and Glencore Plc jumped in. But in the past couple of years, the Lopez Obrador administration has withdrawn import licenses or curtailed their validity to 5 years, from 20 years previously.

The Mexican market is of particular importance to the U.S., which sends six of every 10 barrels it exports to its southern neighbor. The Biden administration has voiced concerns over Lopez Obrador's policies that officials say are discriminating against U.S. companies.

The injunctive relief obtained by Novum is temporary and should remain in place pending a ruling on the underlying lawsuit filed by Novum seeking to guarantee its rights to keep doing business in Mexico.


By Lucia Kassai from Bloomberg.
08 10 2021



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