UPDATE 1-Mexico's Pemex in talks with Asian buyers over crude oil quality
(Updates with details on Pemex shipment, additional quotes)
By Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen and Osamu Tsukimori
SINGAPORE/TOKYO, April 14 (Reuters) - Mexican oil company Pemex said that it was in talks with buyers in Japan and South Korea over the chloride content in one of its light crude shipments and would offer discounts if the level of the chemical, which can cause corrosion, was higher than specified.
State-run Pemex said last month that it was exporting about 4 million barrels via five cargoes of its Isthmus crude to South Korea in January through April, with most of that going to Hyundai Oilbank and the rest to GS Caltex. Japan also imports Mexican crude.
With the sale price set at a discount of $5.45 to $7.85 a barrel to a basket of oil benchmarks in January through April, the five cargoes have a cash value of about $200 million.
Three of those cargoes have been received in Asia. Refinery sources said they contained unusually high levels of potentially damaging chloride. A fourth cargo is due for delivery this month.
P.M.I. Comercio Internacional, Pemex's commercial arm, said it was in discussions with refiners in Japan and South Korea about the measurements of chloride.
"If the chloride is higher than what we specified, of course the price comes down a little bit," P.M.I. Chief Executive Officer Jose Manuel Carrera said in a telephone interview, noting that the contracts call for such a "commercial adjustment."
Pemex said it had received a complaint about chloride levels outside specification in one light crude shipment and was studying the difference in readings within the framework of the contract. Continuación...