Mexico’s state-owned oil giant Petroleos Mexicanos lost more than $30 billion last year as oil prices plunged and the company’s oil output slid for the 11th year in a row, Pemex reported Monday.
The oil company said it lost 521.6 billion pesos ($30.3 billion) in 2015 compared to 265.5 billion pesos the previous year, although Pemex blamed much of that gap on higher taxes, Agence France-Presse reported. Bloomberg reported slightly higher losses for Pemex, at $32 billion, based on the exchange rate in each quarter.
Pemex said it lost 168.9 billion pesos ($9.3 billion) in the fourth quarter last year, compared with a loss of nearly 116 billion pesos a year earlier. Pemex posted a loss of 167.6 billion pesos in the third quarter last year — at the time the company’s biggest quarterly loss in its history.
Mexico, like all oil-producing nations, has been slammed in recent years by the collapse in crude oil prices. Brent crude, the global benchmark, has plummeted from above $100 a barrel in June 2014 to around $36 a barrel Monday, after spending much of February below $35 a barrel. The oil-price slump is exacerbating the depreciating currency and rising inflation in Latin America’s second-largest economy.
In response, the Mexican government earlier this month announced plans to cut 100 billion pesos ($5.5 billion) from the oil giant’s 2016 budget. Pemex pledged Monday to meet the request, including by deferring $3.6 billion in projects such as expensive offshore wells, financial news media reported.
Despite budget cuts, the company would strive to maintain crude production “to the extent possible,” José Antonio González Anaya, CEO of Pemex, said on a conference call with investors. “These adjustments do not weaken Pemex, they strengthen it,” he said on the call.
Pemex’s crude production averaged 2.28 million barrels per day in the fourth quarter, a 3.5 percent drop from a year earlier, the company said in its financial report. Production for all of 2015 averaged 2.267 barrels a day, down 6.7 percent from 2014 output.
Pemex said it expects the price of oil to be around $25 a barrel this year, down from the $50 average the company had previously projected.