Petróleos Mexicanos, commonly known as Pemex, is a national oil corporation based in Mexico. The company, founded in 1938, once had exclusive rights over oil production and distribution in Mexico, until an Energy Reform in the early 2010’s put an end to its monopoly. Nowadays, despite being the second largest oil and gas company in Latin America based on revenue, and one of the most valuable Mexican brands, Pemex faces a generalized crisis.
In the upstream segment, Pemex has struggled with a continuous decrease in output. The company’s crude oil production has been annually decreasing for over a decade, reaching less than 1.7 million barrels a day in 2019 (around 65 percent of the daily production reported in the beginning of the decade). Similarly, the production of natural gas has decreased by more than two billion cubic feet per day in comparison to 2010.
In addition to the decline in production, Pemex is also facing the challenges of competition in the downstream segment. Since 2016, the number of Pemex gas stations has decreased by nearly 30 percent, while the overall number of stations in the country continues to increase. Amidst these issues, Mexico’s oil corporation also faces major organizational problems, in particular, securing its oil and gas infrastructure. It was estimated that in 2019 more than 5 billion Mexican pesos of revenue were lost due to fuel theft in the pipelines owned or operated by Pemex.
As a result, the company has been consistently reporting net losses since 2013, which exceeded 18 billion U.S. dollars in 2019. Pemex’s total assets have also been continuously decreasing for the past years. Despite continuous governmental efforts, in the face of dropping crude oil prices and fuel sales in the first months of 2020, the result of a decrease in demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, it might be at least another year before Pemex’s situation shows signs of improvement.
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