Here’s a forecast for the official ceremony to be led on March 18 by President Enrique Peña Nieto to commemorate the 1938 “expropriation” of Pemex from foreign-owned companies.
“The ceremony,” says opinion leader Ángel Verdugo in his March 17 column in daily Excelsior “is bound to continue on the stale format that says nothing to the people of today. Whatever whoever says about this or that in relation to the situation Pemex is undergoing, and the measure to rescue the living corpse Pemex is, the state’s unproductive enterprise.”
This time, Verdugo adds, it would be a good political move if the Administration changed “it’s rotten” charade of speeches praising the President for his valiant leadership and successful energy reforms which will save Pemex in the future. Not now, in the future. “How I’d love to hear the speakers say the contrary.”
For sure, he will not. It’s not the style of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) Administrations in which everything is forever rosy, even bankruptcy of the nation’s main tax payer.
Verdugo is not alone in his appraisal of the company, but instead surely you will be hearing Energy secretary Pedro Joaquín Coldwell saying “this is the youngest energy reform in the world and shows a very important advance in its implementation less than two years after it was approved.” That is more in tune with what the President, not the people, wants to hear.
In the meantime Moody’s in New York is warned Tuesday that Pemex will require a growing amount of loans both to survive 2016 and 2017 which will only increase the debt the company has had “way over historical levels” at a moment production is decreasing and cash flow slackening.
But why look at the recent past three years when Pemex acquired this humongous debt the Administration is about to forfeit payment if it sees itself cornered by the current international oil prices and availability environment.
Look to the future, Mexico!
Secretary Joaquín claims that the energy reforms will be the solution within “the adverse panorama” as the energy reforms are drawing attention from foreign investors. Just two years ago, says Joaquin in a braggart tone, there was not one single foreign company in Mexico working in exploration and drilling and now there are 30 from seven different countries, seven of them Mexican.
Joaquin is also celebrating that there are five US entrepreneurial groups about to import fuels (gasoline and diesel) with importing permits to be issued as of April 1.
“These are the advances of the energy reform which have increased the geological property of the nation.”
As for Pemex, the Energy secretary says Petróleos Mexicanos is the fifth largest company in the world with oil reserves as reported by the stock markets.
In the meantime, Pemex suppliers are scrounging around for survival as the company owes then an unimaginable but also undisclosed amount that has them on the verge of bankruptcy or receiving payments as one would throw morsels to a dog.
There is no dignity in supplying Pemex, some say. Still, the glories of Pemex will be sung aloud today and even louder the manner in which this Administration has led a once financially healthy company into disaster.
Unless Mexican people hear from Peña Nieto and Joaquín Coldwell a sober reasoning as to the true current situation of Pemex, their self-glory proclaiming speeches will only crash into negative ears of listeners who hear one speech the Pemex reality