The company's six domestic plants are expected to process an average
of 1.248 million barrels per day (bpd) this year, or 79.2 percent of
their combined capacity, according to a Reuters analysis based on a
scheduled turnaround plan for this year.
Pemex's total refining capacity stands at 1.576 million bpd.
The slightly higher runs may help Pemex reduce swelling imports of
fuels like gasoline, demand for which is rising as the nation's
aging refinery fleet struggles to cope with its mostly heavy slate
of Mexican crude, which is more difficult to process into high-value
Refinery crude processing volumes in Mexico have slipped from a peak
of more than 1.303 million bpd in 2004, forcing Pemex to boost
gasoline imports that it often sells at a loss due to subsidized
But it is now stepping up efforts to boost capacity.
Refinery runs will peak this year in August at 1.315 million bpd or
83 percent of capacity, the data show.
But two major turnarounds will reduce output in October and
November, the same time that U.S. Gulf Coast refiners often shut
down for work. Throughput is forecast to hit a low of 1.150 million
bpd in November, or nearly 73 percent of capacity.
Pemex officials declined requests for comment, and while the company
has repeatedly declined to release the scheduled maintenance plans,
it did confirm the authenticity of the documents obtained by
Many companies will adjust maintenance plans during 2014 depending
on contractor availability, profit margins and operational
Pemex's largest refinery is the Antonio Dovali Jaime facility in
Salina Cruz, located in the southern state of Oaxaca. It is
scheduled to shut one of its two crude distillation units (CDUs) and
a host of downstream units including a gasoline-making fluidic
catalytical cracker (FCC) for most of November, according to the
The plant has two CDUs with capacity of approximately 160,000 bpd,
according to IIR Energy capacity data available on Thomson Reuters
The second biggest is the Miguel Hidalgo facility in Tula, located
in the central state of Hidalgo. It is slated to shut one of its FCC
units for all of June. The unit's capacity is 40,000 bpd, the Eikon
[to top of second column]
Major maintenance is also planned at the Antonio M. Amor facility in
Salamanca, in the central state of Guanajuato, which will shut down
its as crude unit for November 7-30, as well as a reformer and other
units. That unit's capacity is 95,000 bpd, according to Eikon data.
Other work was already conducted on the 275,000 bpd Hector R. Lara
Sosa refinery in Cadereyta, in northern Nuevo Leon state, earlier
this year. The nation's smallest plant, Francisco I. Madero in
Ciudad Madero, in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, is due to
shut a crude unit and a coker for June.
INVESTING IN ITSELF
While a landmark energy reform approved late last year ended Pemex's
75-year monopoly on oil sector activities ranging from crude
production to refining to gasoline sales, private investors are
still expected to shun Mexico's refining sector due in large part to
government-set fuel prices.
Pemex finished reconfiguring its Minatitlan refinery in 2012,
increasing its refining capacity to 246,000 bpd from 135,000 bpd.
The company says it still aims to construct a new refinery in Tula,
the first in decades, but it has suffered various delays and was
excluded from Pemex's most recent five-year business plan. If built,
the new refinery will cost more than $10 billion and aims to add
250,000 bpd of capacity to the national refining system.
Pemex has said it will first upgrade the existing Tula refinery by
adding a deep conversion coking plant, which analysts expect to be
operational after 2020.
The company also plans similar upgrades at its Salina Cruz and
Cadereyta refineries further down the road.
(Additional reporting by Ana Isabel Martinez and David Alire Garcia
in Mexico City and Marianna Parraga and Erwin Seba in Houston;
editing by Simon Gardner, Jonathan Leff and Bernard Orr)
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