Mexico's Pemex could relinquish majority stake in refineries: CFO
By David Alire Garcia and Ana Isabel Martinez
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's state-owned oil company Pemex is seeking partners to operate its money-losing refineries and plans to "dilute" its ownership in the plants, even selling majority stakes, the firm's financial chief said on Friday.
Chief Financial Officer Juan Pablo Newman said in an interview that Pemex is seeking private sector expertise to make its six domestic refineries more efficient, as an extended crude price slump and years of underinvestment in its downstream assets has battered the company's bottom line.
"We may not have a majority stake in the refineries, but we are going to dilute our participation," said Newman at his office on the 38th floor of Pemex's headquarters in Mexico City.
He said Pemex aims to spend about 30 billion pesos ($1.65 billion) on its refineries this year, while it seeks additional investment from private partners.
Newman added that private operators could bring much-needed efficiencies to the company's refining unit, its worst-performing division over many years.
In the first quarter of this year, Pemex ran up its 14th consecutive quarterly loss at about 62 billion pesos ($3.6 billion), as both crude prices and output fell.
In late February, the company's new chief executive announced 100 billion pesos ($5.8 billion) in spending cuts this year to stem the losses.
Last month, Mexico's finance ministry announced a capital injection of about $4.2 billion to pay down outstanding bills to Pemex contractors as well as some of its pension liabilities. Continued...