Pemex raises $2 billion for investments, liquidity through early 2019

Oct. 17 (UPI) — Mexican state oil company Pemex will use $2 billion recently raised through an international bond sale to help meet its investment program and guarantee liquidity through early next year.

In addition to helping with its investment program, as well as pay and roll over debt, the operation “strengthens the company’s cash position for the end of 2018 and guarantees liquidity for the start of 2019,” Pemex said.

Pemex officials coordinated the plans for the debt placement “with the transition team” that will be charged with running the country after President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador starts his six-year term on Dec. 1, the company said. The bond, with a January 2029 maturity, offered investors a 6.5 percent return, it added.

The transaction is part of the company’s debt restructuring announced in September to reduce its projected budget deficit for this year by 38 percent to the equivalent of about $2.6 billion. This compares with a budget deficit for 2018 originally approved at the equivalent of $4.2 billion, Pemex said.

The announcement comes as Lopez Obrador has announced his government will increase the Mexican participation in the country’s hydrocarbon resources.

“We are going to extract oil because since the energy reform the production of crude oil and gas is falling. We will rescue the oil industry,” Lopez Obrador tweeted on Monday.

The energy reform was started during the term of current Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto with the intention of allowing private groups, including multinationals, to take part in the Mexican hydrocarbon industry, which was previously tightly held by state companies.

Lopez Obrador has said during and after his campaign that his government will evaluate past accords made in the framework of the reform and announce investments to increase the stake of the Mexican companies in the hydrocarbon industry.

Last week Carlos Trevino, who was appointed CEO of Pemex in Nov. 2017, questioned during a Congress session about Pemex declining investments, said that the company had not been able to invest to improve production and operations because it had incurred losses.

The Mexican government held control of hydrocarbon resources starting in 1938 with nationalization of the oil industry led by former President Lazaro Cardenas, when Pemex was created. The energy reform started in 2013 and Lopez Obrador opposed it from the start.

Mexico’s crude oil production in August fell from previous years to 1.8 million barrels per day of crude oil, down from 1.9 million barrels daily in the same month a year earlier and from 2.1 million barrels daily in August 2016.

In 2013, the year the reform was announced, Mexican crude oil production was around 2.5 million barrels per day.

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