(New throughout, adds Pemex spokesperson comment, quotes from CFO)
MEXICO CITY, May 20 (Reuters) - Mexican state oil firm Pemex said on Wednesday it had no current plans to sell its refining and petrochemical businesses after a senior executive told a newspaper it might opt to in the future.
The daily Excelsior reported in Wednesday’s edition that Pemex Chief Financial Officer Mario Beauregard told it the company hoped to improve the two businesses, but could ultimately choose to sell.
“We will have to at some point take a decision to see if we continue with those activities,” the paper quoted him as saying.
“One of the options we can take is sell those assets, sell Pemex’s stake, and with that money, invest it in areas that generate more value, like exploration and production.”
A Pemex spokesperson said the company has not had any discussions with private refiners regarding possible asset sales and has no near-term plans to do so.
Beauregard, asked later on Wednesday about the possible sale of non-profitable assets, said Pemex is open to partnerships with companies that could improve such units.
“The first thing we’re going to do is try to partner with companies which can give us new tools we don’t have to turn around all these activities,” he said at an event in the northern city of Monterrey.
“We think there’s a good opportunity to partner with private sector companies that have new technology and that can provide enough capital to achieve needed modernizations, and to try and make these businesses profitable for Pemex,” he added, noting that Pemex was already in talks with some firms.
Pemex owns and operates six domestic refineries and also holds a 50 percent stake in the Deep Park refinery near Houston which is operated by Royal Dutch Shell.
The company’s revenue has been hit by a slump in global oil prices, and exacerbated by declining output.
Pemex’s oil production has fallen by nearly one-third since hitting a peak of 3.38 million barrels per day in 2004.
The company, which funds about a third of Mexico’s federal budget, reported a 100.5 billion peso ($6.6 billion) quarterly loss in the first quarter of 2015.
Due to the oil slump, Pemex has announced major budget cuts for this year, as well as a delay in executing capital projects including refinery reconfigurations.
Pemex’s refining unit has racked up billions of dollars in losses in recent years as the government has maintained a long-standing policy of setting fuel prices. (Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter and David Alire Garcia, and Gabriela Lopez in Monterrey; editing by Marguerita Choy and David Gregorio)