March 27, 2019 / 1:20 AM / 5 months ago

Pemex imports crude in February, despite president's aversion

MEXICO CITY, March 26 (Reuters) - Mexican state oil company Pemex imported crude oil in February despite the new president's sharp criticism of the previous government's authorization of foreign oil shipments, official data showed on Tuesday.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who took office in December, promises to make Mexico energy independent over the next three years and has often blasted foreign imports as an insult for a country that produces its own oil.

Pemex, however, has not stopped importing relatively small amounts of crude since it launched a tender late last year in a bid to boost the company's refining margins.

The state-owned company imported 79,200 barrels of other petroleum products "including light crude oil" in February, according to Pemex data.

Pemex reported that it also imported slightly larger volumes of petroleum products including light crude in January and December.

According to Reuters calculations based on central bank data, Pemex imported about 31,700 barrels per day (bpd) of crude in November, the final month of President Enrique Pena Nieto's term.

The company imported roughly 17,800 bpd in December and 15,100 bpd in January, according to the same calculations.

The central bank data does not include February.

The Pemex press office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (Reporting by David Alire Garcia, Adriana Barrera and Marianna Parraga; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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