The bad. The official bulletin on the acquisition by Pemex of the Deer Park refinery in Houston opens with the triumphant phrase that was repeated with pride by López Obrador: “The operation represents a strategic action by the Government to achieve energy sovereignty in the country.” Is seriously? A semi-scrap was acquired that Shell Oil Co. was more than willing to get rid of, especially since there are also supply and financial commitments that were transferred to Pemex in the operation. Also, in the energy transition to clean energy, it didn’t make any sense for Shell to keep Deer Park.
By energy sovereignty, the president means that we will be self-sufficient in gasoline. This is totally false. According to official information, Mexico will provide Deer Park with 115,000 barrels of crude oil per day and this refinery will return refined products such as gasoline for 230,000 barrels per day. In the balance of payments, the supplied crude oil will be recorded as an export and the returning gasoline will be recorded as an import. Do we march with this towards self-sufficiency? Well no. No one explained it to the president with peritas and apples.
Deer Park, according to Pemex, together with the six existing refineries plus Dos Bocas, will represent the “new” energy model of the country. Dos Bocas already has a cost overrun of 56% (4,300 million pesos). But the price does not matter to the government; It is a marvel of Mexican engineering: the first submarine refinery in the world.
lousy The case of Pedro Salmerón is shameful in several aspects: for the victims who see how the harasser is protected by a cloak of impunity; for the foreign service that overlaps an ambassador without preparation for the position; for Panama as it is a lack of diplomatic respect. The great Tlatoani pardons Salmerón: “there is no complaint and he is also a great expert on the historical figure of Pancho Villa”. There are now two ways to avoid his appointment: that the Senate be rejected; If the senators do not want to enter into the controversy of harassment, the simplest thing is to reject him due to his total lack of capacity for the position.
Panama has already received letters from activist organizations, urging them to deny it approval. If he does not want to enter into that diplomatic dispute that would end up being a blunder for López Obrador, he should negotiate that the government withdraw his nomination. If Ebrard is smart and steels himself, that’s what he should recommend to his boss.
the ugly The most recent data on economic activity are worrying. The fourth quarter will surely record a contraction in GDP. Already the third quarter saw a quarterly drop of 0.4 percent. The slowdown in January points to a possible negative figure for the first quarter. We would thus have three negative quarters, technically a recession.
Expert estimates for the full year fluctuate between rates of 1.5% to 2.6 percent. Clearly the cumulative GDP expansion rate of 2021 and 2022 will not offset the recession of 2020. The economy is stagnant.
Economist graduated from ITAM. He has a Master’s degree and doctoral studies in monetary theory and policy, and international finance and trade. Columnist for The Economist. He has been an advisor to the Governing Board of Banxico, Director of Institutional Liaison, Director of External Relations and Coordinator of the Governor’s Office, Manager of External Relations, Manager of Macrofinancial Analysis, Deputy Manager of Macroeconomic Analysis, Deputy Manager of International Economy and Analyst.