The Petroleos Mexicanos Miguel Hidalgo Refinery in Mexico. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi: Mubadala Petroleum is keen to invest in Mexico both in the upstream in oil production as well as downstream sector in petrochemicals, the chief executive officer of the state-owned Mexican oil firm Pemex told Gulf News in an interview.

“Mubadala is keen to invest in both upstream as well as downstream sectors. Discussions are going on and there could be something concrete early next year moving forward,” said José Antonio González.

The two companies signed an agreement last year to provide the basis for discussions between the two companies and their affiliates about potential opportunities in Mexico’s energy sector. “Mubadala is a sophisticated company and we are looking for strong allies to benefit.”

The Pemex CEO also met the chief of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company as part of this visit to the UAE to boost cooperation, he said. “We are in initial discussions with Adnoc for potential collaboration and we will see where it goes.”

Mexico, one of the world’s largest producers of oil, has a current production of 2 million barrels per day of oil apart from 4 billion cubic feet of gas. “The production has gone down from 3 million barrels of oil per day because the fields have become old. We are working hard to replenish it and increase production.”

Opec, non-Opec agreement

The country is also part of the Opec and non-Opec production cut agreement that came into effect earlier this year. Mexico has not been reducing output as the production has been falling on its own, he said. “I think this agreement has given stability and certainty to the oil markets.”

The Latin American country also undertook reforms in the energy sector in 2013, ending Pemex’s monopoly on the oil and natural gas sector and opening the industry to greater foreign investment.

“Opening of the sector had a tremendous impact. We have attracted enormous amount of investment and the commitment in the hydrocarbon sector is $80 billion in the coming years with big names like BP, Eni, Total, Shell, Exxon Mobil.”

Shale oil exists in Mexico because it is in the same basin as in the United States but due to some environmental regulations, the country has not been undertaking shale production, he said. “We are trying to get our production slowly back up with lot investments in the upstream. We are also trying to get our refinery to function as efficiently as possible. Right now we can process roughly half of our oil production. If we can maintain our refineries better and operate them better we could increase that up to 60 to 70 per cent of our production,” he added.