The new head of Mexican state oil giant Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), Raul Munoz Leos, said on December 5th that his country planned to keep its options open if OPEC announced productions cuts in the first quarter of 2001.
Munoz, who took over the leadership of Pemex on December 1st, said that: “Fortunately, we are not a member of OPEC and we can make the most convenient decision based on the circumstances at hand.”
Mexico has cooperated with OPEC member countries in the past to stabilize oil markets, orchestrating production cuts in 1999 and output rises earlier this year, but has been unable to contribute to OPEC’s last two supply increases due to a lack of spare capacity.
Munoz said his first priorities at Pemex would be to boost the company’s competitiveness and to improve its relationship with clients.
New Energy Minister Ernesto Martens said that he would work to ensure sufficient financial resources for Pemex and Mexico’s two state-owned electricity companies during his tenure.
Mexican President Vincente Fox unveiled his budget proposal for 2001 to Congress on December 5th, projecting an economic slowdown and a reduction of Mexico’s budget deficit.
The proposal said that: “Economic policy for 2001 reflects the new administration’s commitment to promoting an environment of stability and certainty that keeps our economy on the path of growth.”
The budget includes total net spending of 1.34 trillion pesos ($141 billion) and sets an average price for oil exports of $18 a barrel.
The world’s fifth largest oil producer anticipates oil exports of 1.825 million b/d in 2001, up from an average of 1.678 million b/d in 2000.
The Fox administration hopes to see the budget approved before Congress recesses on December 15th, but the task could prove difficult.