Oil Report

UPDATE 1-Mexico's Pemex stopping US West Coast oil exports

(Adds Pemex comment)

MEXICO CITY, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Mexican state oil monopoly Pemex will stop shipping crude oil to the U.S. West Coast from February due in part to a shortage of infrastructure at Salina Cruz port, the company said on Wednesday.

Pemex was only shipping a tiny 20,000 barrels per day of oil to the U.S. Pacific coast out of its total daily exports of around 1.7 million barrels, but will now focus on exports to the U.S. Gulf coast and smaller shipments to Europe and Asia.

Pemex said the decision was made because of limited storage space at Salina Cruz, on the Pacific coast, and bottlenecks with transporting crude oil there from Dos Bocas on the Gulf of Mexico coast where much the country’s oil is produced.

“The volume of crude that will no longer be sent to the U.S. West Coast will be sold in other markets where there are better economic alternatives,” Pemex said in a statement.

Earlier on Wednesday a source at Pemex’s international trading arm told Reuters the company’s oil refinery at Salina Cruz had grown to the point where it needed to use storage tanks formerly used for crude headed for the U.S. West Coast.

“The crude has better opportunities elsewhere,” the source said.

Mexico is the world’s ninth largest exporter of crude oil by volume.

Around 88 percent of Pemex’s oil exports go to the United States, which relies on its southern neighbor as a politically stable oil source second only to Canada.

About 10 percent goes to Europe and 2 percent to Asia. (Reporting by Catherine Bremer; editing by Christian Wiessner and Carol Bishopric)