Mexico set to build $8bn oil refinery in Tabasco

The president elect of Mexico has announced a plan to build an $8bn oil refinery during the first half of his six-year tenure to reduce reliance on the US.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador, popularly known as AMLO, made the announcement during a meeting with 50 oil executives and engineers in Tabasco yesterday. Also present was Rocío Nahle, the future energy secretary, and Octavio Romero Oropeza, the future general director of Pémex, the state oil company.

The refinery, earmarked for Dos Bocas in Vera Cruz, would have a capacity of 400,000 barrels a day, putting it a little below the top division of refineries, which generally have a capacity of between 500,000 and 600,000 barrels. 

Mexico’s largest refinery at present is national oil company Pemex’s 330,000-barrel Salina Cruz plant in the southern state of Oaxaca. That and five others will be rehabilitated, as most are performing well below their design capacity, reports Reuters.

The aim of the refinery would be to reduce Mexico’s dependence on petroleum imports from the US and to increase the amount of oil extracted from Mexico’s offshore reservoirs. The previous government set a target of 3 million barrels a day, but only reached 1.6 million.

Obrador said the project launch will happen "in the first days" of his government, which will be inaugurated on 1 December.

Image: Tabasco’s Dos Bocas oil port (Creative Commons)

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