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Pemex in race against time

Mexican NOC faces near-impossible task of hitting ambitious upstream targets while maintaining capital discipline

On the campaign trail in 2018, Mexican president Andres Lopez Obrador promised to bring radical change to the energy sector. He looks set to achieve this—but not necessarily in a positive direction with production languishing and global oil prices spiralling lower. After winning the election, he promptly cancelled future bidding rounds and vowed to resurrect sinking domestic oil production through greater domestic involvement. His commitment was demonstrated by a 13.6pc increase to the E&P capex of Pemex, the state-owned oil company. But the NOC’s full-year performance for 2019 shows the strategy is at risk of failing, even if some of the capex will start paying off in future quarters.

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