Pemex ‘up to its neck in debt’… must pay 17 billion US dollars by 2024


The Mexican oil company affirms that viable options are on the table to achieve this.

In the remainder of the six-year term, Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) must pay around 16.7 billion dollars in debt amortizations, according to the 2023-2027 Business Plan.

According to the document, the oil company has managed to mitigate the maturity profile of its debt, since, in 2019, at the beginning of the six-year term of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, 25 percent of the oil company’s debt should have been covered only between 2019 and 2021.

“However, during 2021, liability management operations were carried out considering the debt repayment curve in order to reduce pressures in the short term and smooth the curve to avoid accumulations that could represent significant constraints on future budgets. of the company”, can be read in the document.

In this way, Pemex will have to pay the equivalent of 16 percent of the total debt during the remaining two years of the six-year term.

However, the next administration will have the commitment to pay 32 percent of the company’s debt, since, according to the debt maturity profile, it will have to “disburse” around 34 billion dollars between 2025 and 2030.

The rest of the debt will have to be paid off in later years, although at least $24.5 billion will be paid after 2037, according to the current plan.

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PEMEX has to pay US$6 billion before April

In the morning conference of the President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Octavio Romero Oropeza, general director of Pemex, explained that they will have to pay between 5,500 and 6,000 million dollars for debt amortizations during the first quarter of 2023, Therefore, they hope to have the support of the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP).

“Since last year we have been talking with the Treasury and looking for alternatives on how we are going to resolve this amortization payment. We are contemplating that in the year the price of crude oil will be quite good. We are looking at alternatives, jointly, and we see no problem. We already have several solution alternatives and we are going to move forward ”, he indicated.

He explained that between April and December of last year, they managed to make the payment of debt amortizations with their own resources, thanks to the high international price of crude oil and the increase in fuel production.

“Last year, the Treasury helped us in January, February, and March, but given that the conditions for the price of crude oil were very good and the increase in production was significant, Pemex was in a position to take care of the operations with its own flow. amortizations for the rest of the months of the year”, he pointed out.

Miriam Grunstein, director of Brilliant Energy, indicated that the main black hole for the oil company lies in the construction of the Olmeca refinery; located in Dos Bocas, Tabasco.

He considered that the 17 billion dollars of debt that would have to be paid in the next two years will almost equal the total cost of this refinery. “The spending that is being done in refining is the typical cliché of throwing good money after bad since Pemex has never been a good refiner and we have no reason to think that it will be, nor do we know if the project will be profitable,” he said.

Oscar Ocampo, leader of energy projects at the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness (IMCO), recalled that, during the last four years, the Treasury has supported Pemex with around 810 billion pesos, both to buy the Deer Park refinery, the construction of the Olmeca refinery, as well as to amortize the debt.

“This cannot go on indefinitely and I think we have reached a point where Pemex has to take responsibility for its own debt. In principle, Pemex would not have reason to not have the resources to pay for it, but it is necessary that it prioritize its most profitable areas. At this time, Pemex has to take responsibility for its debt, not the Ministry of Finance, ”he said.

Carlos López Jones, director of the consulting firm Tendencias, predicts that, in the future, Pemex could pay around 10 percent of its debt supported by high crude prices, while 20 percent will have to continue to be aid from the Treasury. and between 60-70 percent will have to be refinanced to postpone the payment.

The most recent data indicates that 86 percent of Pemex’s debt is external and the remaining 14 percent internal. Pemex’s total financial debt balance amounted to 105 billion US dollars.

Source: El Financiero

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