Mexico will start to buy up to 100,000 barrels of crude oil per day from the United States for the first time in its history, with the intention of increasing production of high-value, refined oil.
In January, Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) requested that the U.S. government introduce light oil and condensate into the Mexican market. The request has now been granted in a relaxation of the ban on energy exports maintained by the United States.
“This is a special exemption given the legal previsions outlined by the 1975 American Law on Energy. Mexico is now receiving the same treatment as Canada in terms of energy exchanges,” said the Energy Secretariat in a statement.
The secretariat detailed that the imports will bring benefits to the country, allowing Pemex to mix light crude and condensate with the heavy oil produced domestically. This mixture would improve the manufacturing process of combustibles.
According to Pemex, Mexico mainly produces heavy crude despite the fact that the refineries are designed to process light crude.
“This affects industrial performance, leaving large quantities of combustible residue which is difficult to sell for a good price on the international market. It is then used in electrical plants which is not very competitive and damages the environment,” said the statement.
The crude will primarily be delivered to the Salamanca, Tula and Salina Cruz refineries, which produce gasoline and diesel. The oil deal will provide other logistical benefits, such as reducing primary material transport fees for Mexico.
Pemex will continue to export oil to be processed in heavy crude refineries in the United States.
In the first seven months of 2015, the parastatal company exported on average 1.16 million barrels per day, of which more than 700,000 were destined for the United States.
BY VIANEY PICHARDO
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