Pemex gets license for US crude swaps

The US government has issued a license to Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) subsidiary Pemex International Trade (PMI) to import as much as 75,000 b/d of US light crude oil for 1 year beginning this month in exchange for exporting Mexican heavy crude to the US.

The US light crude will be processed in Mexico’s national refining system, while the Mexican heavy crude will be processed by high-conversion refineries on the US Gulf Coast.

Pemex says the use of light crude in Mexican refineries will reduce fuel oil production and promote production of higher-value fuels such as gasoline and diesel, which contain lower sulfur content.

It will also reduce the logistical costs of exporting fuel oil from refineries in central Mexico, as well as imported automotive fuels, the company says.

Pemex through PMI in mid-2014 presented the exchange proposal to the US Department of Commerce, and the Obama administration in August said it would begin to allow limited swaps (OGJ Online, Aug. 14, 2015). The company originally sought a 100,000-b/d exchange.

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