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Mexico cuts crude output due to Ike damage on US refineries

by Staff Writers
Mexico City (AFP) Sept 24, 2008
Mexico's state-run oil consortium Pemex announced Wednesday that it would "temporarily" reduce its crude oil output due to damage caused by Hurricane Ike on refineries in the United States.

"It was necessary to temporarily close 250,000 barrels of daily production of crude," Pemex said in a statement.

Ike "caused severe damages to the refining infrastructure in the southern United States (Texas and Louisiana). Seven refineries remain out of operation and 12 others are working below their capacity," the company said.

Seven of the affected refineries process "crude of Mexican origin," the statement said.

As US refineries slowly come back online there will be "a gradual increment in the volume of export and crude production of Petroleos Mexicanos," the statement said.

In 2007 Pemex had an output of three billion barrels of crude per day, down 5.3 percent against 2006. The company's January-August output was down 9.2 percent against the same period last year, according to company figures.

Ike ripped across 11 US states between September 12-15, especially affecting the Texas and Louisiana Gulf coast areas, where much of the US oil production and refining capacity is located.

According to private estimates, the storm caused between eight and 12 billion dollars in damage.

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Outside View: Chavez on oil tour
Moscow (UPI) Sep 24, 2008
When asked why he did not go to the current U.N. General Assembly session this week in New York, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez told journalists at Beijing airport Tuesday it was far more important to be in the Chinese capital.

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