After filing for insolvency in Sept. 2018, Oro Negro’s creditors attempted to take over five oil platforms. Mexico’s private sector defended industry’s regulators, CRE and CNH against a parliamentary initiative to integrate both commissions to the Ministry of Energy. Meanwhile, IEA adjusts Venezuela crude oil production on the low end and ExxonMobil and Shell are increasing their offshore activity in South America.


Ready to drill through the week’s top stories? Here’s your weekly news roundup:





Oro Negro Insolvency Derives in Platform Takeover Attempt. Oro Negro filed a complaint before the Attorney General’s office after its creditors attempted to take back five oil platforms operating in the Gulf of Mexico, near Ciudad del Carmen. The petroleum company’s lawyer, Alberto Zinser, declared in a press conference that the creditors’ representatives landed in the oil platforms using private helicopters, absent the intervention of Mexico’s authorities. In Sept. 2018, Oro Negro filed for insolvency.


Ministry of Finance Defends IEPS Tax. The Ministry argued IEPS rate variations in gasoline prices are not at the root of increasing gasoline prices for final consumers. Rater, IEPS adjustments obey to the variations of international crude oil prices as referenced the week before said adjustment.


The Risks of Integrating CNH and CRE to the Ministry of Energy. MORENA’s initiative to reform the Organic Law of Public Administration that stipulates CRE and CNH’s inclusion into the Ministry of Energy. Former CRE Commissioner Israel Hurtado considers modifying CNH’s attribution to administer licensing round contracts to be not only unconstitutional but also infringing the legal certainty for energy market participants.


CNH Defends its Autonomy. In an official press release, the regulator exposed five points to justify its autonomy before MORENA’s initiative to incorporate CRE and CNH to the Ministry of Energy. First, as per Mexico’s Constitution, CNH is a Federal Executive agency. Second, the technical and administrative autonomy of CNH is also stipulated in the Constitution. Third, the substantive attributions of CNH are established in the Constitution: E&P contract management, production plan supervision and regulation pertaining to hydrocarbon exploration and production. Fourth, complying with its mandate requires close coordination with the Ministry of Energy to be consistent with the Ministry’s established energy policy. Fifth, CNH is closely monitoring the development of this initiative and will be respectful of the legislative process.


Moody’s and Fitch Push the Red Button Over PEMEX’s Future. After President-elect López Obrador’s plans to stop exporting crude oil parallel to the new Dos Bocas Refinery, the credit rating agencies raised the alarm. On one hand, Moody’s considers the NOC could incur in exchange rate exposure if it stops receiving the constant inflow of US dollars from its exports as 84 percent of its debt is indexed in said currency, amounting to US$104 billion. On the other, Fitch modified its PEMEX perspective from stable to negative.


The Saga of Zama Continues. Although the Zama discovery has yet to reach production phase, it already contributes US$150 million per year in royalties to the federal government. Sierra Oil and Gas, part of the Zama discovery consortium, estimates the oil field will be producing close to 40,000 b/d by 2022.


Renouncing on Fracking Would Devaluate Reserves. Foregoing fracking would degrade the country’s 3P reserves to 2P, with a 50 percent probability of being produced, says Ramés Pech. David Rosales, Director General of Natural Gas and Petrochemistry at the Ministry of Energy, says Mexico can reach its 2.5 million b/d production target established by the next administration only if the country resorts to fracking for its unconventional reserves.





Consolidation: Fracking’s Ace for Frustrated Investors. Private Equity Fund Kimmeridge Energy Management Co. is pressuring oil producer Resolute Energy Corp to merge with an industry rival. It is but one of the many cases of fracking advocates to push the niche market to consolidate.


IEA Lowers Production Expectations for Venezuela. The agency remains doubtful relating the country’s capacity to reach production levels of 2.5 million b/d by 2040 given its ongoing economic crisis that tanked Venezuela’s crude oil production of 2.35 million b/d in 2016 to 1.22 million b/d in September 2018.


Shell Adds Another Deepwater Production Asset to its Portfolio. Through its Shell Brasil Petróleo subsidiary, the Dutch IOC announced the launch of the FPSO P-69 in the Lula field, located in the Santos basin.


ExxonMobil awards Contract for Liza Phase 2. TechnipFMC won the submarine engineering contract tendered by ExxonMobil for its Liza Phase 2 project through its Guayana subsidiary, Esso Exploración y Producción Guyana. The company will be in charge of manufacturing and delivering submarine equipment, including 30 reinforced subsea trees.




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