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Pemex to develop most of oil fields granted, will return very few: CEO

Company must return fields this year where work insufficient. Pemex plans to continue oil hedge program in future years.

Petroleumworld 05 05 2017

Petroleos Mexicanos plans to develop most of the 120 oilfields the government granted the state-owned company, returning "only a very low percentage," according to the company's chief executive officer.

The production regions were  given to Pemex, as the company is known, when Mexico's oil industry opened to private competition in 2014. Pemex had three years to invest in the fields or return them to the regulator to be auctioned in future bidding rounds.

As the three-year deadline nears, Pemex is likely to maintain the majority of these fields, Jose Antonio Gonzalez Anaya, the company's CEO, said in a Bloomberg Television interview from Houston.

"We are trying to make progress to make sure we meet the regulator's requirements, especially the ones where we know there is oil and where there is production," he said. "I think we will develop the fields that have been assigned to us."

Appointed as Pemex's CEO last year, Gonzalez Anaya's impact on the company's ailing financial standing has been immediate. After four years of losses, Pemex yesterday reported first-quarter earnings of 87.9 billion pesos ($4.6 billion).

"The last time we posted a profit the price of oil was $100 per barrel. To post a profitable result when the price of oil is around $40 is important," Gonzalez Anaya said. "This is no small achievement."

Production Growth

Pemex, which has seen oil output fall every year since 2004, hopes production will stabilize this year and possibly increase as soon as 2018, he said. In addition to joint ventures planned in onshore, shallow and deep waters fields, Pemex is also looking to "cluster small allocations and small fields so that we can migrate them together," he said.

The company is counting on a recently implemented oil price hedge -- independent of the Mexican government's hedging program -- to give Pemex "some degree of certainty to our investment and to our planning," Gonzalez Anaya said. Pemex, which hadn't hedged independently from the government in 11 years, will likely use the tool again next year, he said.

Pemex will also seek additional hydrogen unit joint ventures at its refineries, similar to the partnership signed with Air Liquide SA in February at the Tula refinery, he said.

“This model will be replicated for other refineries, and I think things will run much better,” Gonzalez Anaya said of the additional partnerships planned for refineries.

Story by Adam Williams and Lucia Kassai from Bloomberg.

bloomberg.com 05 04 2017

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