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Pemex fuel logistics auction facing delays

25 May 2017 20:30 (+01:00 GMT)
Pemex fuel logistics auction facing delays

Mexico City, 25 May (Argus) — Mexican state-run Pemex´s next regional open season for fuel storage and pipeline capacity could be delayed by up to four months.

The tender, covering assets in the northern border states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas, was originally scheduled for today.

Mexico's energy regulatory commission (CRE) has yet to give an update on the process.

Cesar Cadena, president of the Nuevo Leon energy chamber, told Argus that the timetable is likely to be pushed back.

"The CRE said the open season was indefinitely deferred," Cadena said, citing a recent meeting with the commission, which supervises the open season process.

Based on talks with both the CRE and Pemex, Cadena said he believed the auction would be postponed by up to four months.

The auction is the second in a series meant to open up logistics that was previously the exclusive domain of Pemex.

The first open season covering the northwestern states of Baja California and Sonora was awarded early this month to US independent refiner Tesoro. The company secured 15-20pc of Pemex's storage and pipeline capacity in the region.

"In Baja California and Sonora, it was relatively easy," said Cadena. "But they decided that in this region, it is much more complicated. You have two pipelines in Juarez … one of which is reversible, one in Laredo, one in Brownsville."

Capacity will be up for grabs in the storage terminals of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Parral, Gomez Palacio, Sabinas, Monclova, Saltillo, Nuevo Laredo, Santa Cantarina, Cadereyta, Ciudad Mante, Reynosa, Ciudad Victoria and Madero.

Transport capacity will be available in the northern pipeline system and related storage terminals. Authorities are also said to be analyzing the results and lessons learned during the first open season, which the CRE abruptly interrupted, citing methodological issues.

Industry executives told Argus the delay was sparked by disagreements over the auction's minimum prices, which were not revealed to the 22 approved participants until the day of the auction.

Cadena say energy authorities want to avoid repeating the same mistakes.

The CRE said the deadlines for the second open season remain in effect, but the final timing would depend on how long Pemex takes to analyze past experiences and present the commission with final portfolio of assets and prices for the next auction.