Delays by the US competition regulator for Pemex to buy Deer Park from Shell sticks to Mexico’s energy plans

The purchase of a half stake in the refinery of Deer Park a la angloholandesa Shell by Mexican oil, with which the state oil company would remain with full ownership of this center located in Texas, it has been delayed due to lack of approval of the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS), according to Shell itself.

Shell announced in May that it would sell its 50,005% stake in the 302,800 barrels per day (bpd) refinery to partner Pemex for $ 596 million. The sale was expected to close as early as Wednesday.

“Although we expected to be able to finalize the sale of the Deer Park refinery earlier in the CFIUS review process, we are still aiming for the end of 2021 as the closing date for the transfer of Shell’s stake in the refinery, “said the Shell spokesman.

Curtis Smith, a Shell spokesman, said in a statement that it was expected to close the deal for the sale of this property this Wednesday, for the agreed amount of 596 million dollars that was announced since last May.

Still, “we continue to target the end of 2021 as the closing date for the transfer of Shell’s stake in the refinery,” said Curtis Smith.

According to the federal government, the purchase of half of the deer park refinery It has the objective of increasing the sale of Pemex fuels, although it should be remembered that by locating in Houston, the national distribution will incur customs and logistics costs typical of imports, even if it is from the same company.

In the presidential conference, the CEO of Pemex, Octavio Romero Oropeza, stated in May that of the 596 million dollars in cash that his partner accepted in the acquisition agreement, 106 million will be from inventories of oil and derivatives that the plant has , and $ 490 million in Shell debt in the partnership.

At the same time, the refinery Deer Park has a debt amounting to 980 million dollars. When asked about how the debt would be covered, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador pointed out that there is a reserve of resources in the order of 47,000 million pesos, which is approximately 2,350 million dollars, of which 30,000 million, 1,500 million dollars They are in Banobras and 17,000 million pesos more, 850 million dollars, which corresponded to the attention of natural disasters of the Fonden.

In turn, President López Obrador assured that the refinery will have the purpose of using Mexican crude and selling fuels to the country, both to stop exporting oil and to no longer import petroleum products.

“Pemex had a significant stake, but it did not have control of the refinery, the refinery was always controlled by Shell, and this led to the profits being reinvested in the refinery itself, there were no profits,” he said, “now Pemex will have the control of the refinery, or it is in the process of being concluded, but all the documents have already been signed, the operation was closed ”.

The refinery of Deer Park has a capacity of 340,000 barrels per day, of which 110,000 are gasoline, 90,000 diesel, 90,000 jet fuel and the rest of other products, stated the director of Pemex.

In turn, the head of Energy, Rocío Nahle García, explained regarding the announcement of this purchase that it was necessary to “ensure the consumption of gasoline in Mexico”, since the transition to cleaner energy will take time.

“Deer Park is producing 110,000 barrels of gasoline and 90,000 of diesel. Dos Bocas will produce 170,000 barrels of gasoline, with energy efficiency and better technology. There are not many refineries like Deer Park that are giving them in 600 million dollars ”, he asserted.

It should be remembered that Pemex had a crude oil processing volume in its six refineries of 702,250 barrels per day in the average from January to September 2021, which implied a use of its Refining System of 42.8%, the highest since 2017, although well below the use of 70% that it had a decade ago and the 90% that the current administration raised at its beginning as a goal for this year.

And it is that the volume of crude oil processing that was achieved in the first three quarters of the year on average was the highest since 2017, in which Pemex still reported a volume of 832,540 barrels per day, with a use of 51% of the capacity .

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