Deer Park Refinery. Photo: Google Maps


Mexico’s financially strapped state-run oil company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) is slated to take control of the Deer Park refinery, located in Texas, on Thursday, Jan. 20, in accordance with a purchase agreement with the Anglo-Dutch transnational corporation Royal Dutch Shell, which currently owns half of the oil processing plant.

In May of last year, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) announced that Pemex, which has heavy liabilities and recurring losses, agreed to purchase Shell’s 50 percent in the refinery for a sum of nearly $600 million, following an unsolicited offer.

“Next Thursday, the payment and transfer of the property will be made,” a Pemex source told media representatives on the condition of anonymity. “The refinery will be operated directly by Pemex.”

The source also said that Pemex had reached a labor agreement with the plant’s personnel, adding that the refinery has a capacity to process 340,000 barrels per day (bpd).

“The operators will be the same, but it will no longer be with Shell personnel. That guarantees the stability of the operation,” the source said.

Another unidentified company source said that a Pemex commission led by CEO Octavio Romero will travel to Texas for the final signing..

According to Pemex insiders, several final transition activities are still pending, but are expected to be completed over the course of the next few days.

López Obrador has said that with the control of Deer Park and the currently-under-construction Dos Bocas refinery in his home state of Tabasco, Mexico will be able to stop importing gasoline and exporting crude by the year 2024, without explaining how the country will compensate for lost revenues for oil sales abroad.

The six Pemex refineries in Mexico, all of which are more than 20 years old, are currently processing around 700,000 bpd on average, well below their alleged combined capacity of 1.5 million bpd.


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