Pemex’s Missing Oil Surges to All-Time High: Chart of the Day
By Carlos Manuel Rodriguez
Sept. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Petroleos Mexicanos, the world’s
fourth-largest oil producer, is having a hard time explaining
record amounts of missing crude amid concern that fuel is being
stolen or the company is misreporting.
The CHART OF THE DAY shows that while the Mexican oil
producer said it pumped 2.52 million barrels a day in July, its
distribution system processed 2.41 million barrels, a 4.5
percent deficit. The shortfall is the most on record and more
than six times higher than Pemex’s average logistical losses in
the last decade. This year’s gap between Pemex’s output and
sales reached 17 million barrels worth $1.78 billion, based on
this year’s average price for the Mexican mix of oil for export.
Because Mexico doesn’t have a strategic reserve capacity
“this gap can’t be explained any more by inventory or
transportation,” said Alejandra Leon, an analyst at IHS CERA,
an energy research company. “It is either fuel theft or false
or erroneous production figures. There’s no way to tell.”
Pemex press officials didn’t respond to an e-mail or
telephone call requesting comment on the missing oil.
“This is a grave issue,” Leon said Sept. 12 in a
telephone interview from Mexico City. “If you’re overreporting
production you’re creating false expectations, and if is solely
theft, then we have even a bigger problem in the security
situation of the country.”
Mexico’s Hydrocarbons Commission President Juan Carlos
Zepeda said that his agency hasn’t received a satisfactory
explanation from Pemex about the growing rate of missing oil for
“There has to be an explanation beyond logistical
losses,” Zepeda said in a Sept. 10 interview in Mexico City.
“It is hard to imagine crude theft at that magnitude.”