Pemex elusive over lost production after Abkatun disaster, says report

San Francisco: Mexico’s state oil firm Pemex has been playing fast and loose with numbers and terminology relating to how much output it lost because of April’s explosion on the Abkatun Permanente oil platform, according to a Bloomberg report on Friday.

Ever since the disaster offshore from Campeche and Tabasco, which left three workers missing and 16 injured, Pemex has been hard to pin down on how much oil production was lost.

First it claimed production was cut by 1.5 million barrels. Later when Mexico’s Energy Ministry said the lost amount was 4.2m barrels, Pemex seemed to go along with that.

It has since vacillated between the two figures, which differ by a factor of three, and has tried to explain the gap by referring to the bigger amount as production that is “deferred” rather than “lost”, Bloomberg says.

But industry experts see the distinction as meaningless wordplay.

The confusion and feeling that transparency is lacking could not come at a worse time for Mexico’s energy sector as Pemex has suffered a series of accidents and mishaps in the field and the recent historic auction of the country’s oilfield rights to outside players was a damp squib.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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