Gonzalez Anaya appointed Pemex chief executive

Jose Antonio Gonzalez Anaya on Feb. 8 was named chief executive officer of Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) by Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. He succeeds Emilio Lozoya, who resigned after holding the position since 2012.

Gonzalez Anaya served as head of Mexico’s social security institute under the Nieto administration following several years in the nation’s finance ministry.

The move follows years of falling production and earnings for the state-owned firm, and during a critical period for the nation’s energy sector amid reform and the added challenge of depressed crude oil prices.

During a press conference, Nieto explained, “It will be necessary to adjust the cost structure, revise the spending program, and strengthen the investment processes, making use of the new joint venture and investment schemes provided by the energy reform.”

Late last year, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Pemex’s global foreign currency and local currency ratings to Baa1 from A3, two rungs above the minimum (OGJ Online, Nov. 25, 2015).

At the time, Nymia Almeida, Moody’s vice-president, senior credit officer, explained, “Moody’s believes that Pemex’s credit metrics will deteriorate further in the short to medium term as oil prices remain depressed, production continues to drop, taxes remain high, and the company’s capex needs are financed with debt.”

Moody’s noted that the company during 2012-14 increased debt to fund large outflows for taxes, duties, and capital spending, without achieving sustained increases in production or operating efficiencies.

Even when oil prices were at peak levels in 2014, Moody’s said, Pemex’s cash flow from operating activities of $9.1 billion fell well-short of covering $15.1 billion in capital spending outlays.

Pemex last week reported companywide crude oil production in 2015 was 2.27 million b/d, down 7% from the 2014 level and 10% from the 2013 level (OGJ Online, Feb. 3, 2016).

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