Pemex’s total refining utilization rate during the third week of October has reached a record low of 25.7%, an operation report from the Mexican state company showed Tuesday. The company processed 425,800 b/d of crude oil in the second week of October, 64,100 b/d less than in the previous week and down from 866,000 b/d in mid-April. Light crude oil shortages at simple-configuration refineries and technical problems in the 190,000 b/d Madero and 285,000 b/d Minatitlan refineries have been interfering with Pemex’s overall refining activities.
Amid these ongoing refinery technical problems, Pemex has attributed low refinery runs to its strategy of prioritizing profitability over production. This has led the company’s downstream subsidiary to be profitable for the first time in many decades, Pemex has said. Pemex has largely limited its domestic refinery processing due to the relatively high yield of residual fuel oil compared to gasoline, and resulting low profits. Pemex stopped all operations at Minatitlan during the second week of October after attempting to restart the refinery during the first week of the month, processing 23,000 b/d.