As oil and natural gas companies worldwide face tighter scrutiny on environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics, two key indicators are trending the wrong way for Mexico’s state oil company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex).

Pemex flaring

Natural gas flaring and production of high-sulfur fuel oil (HSFO) both have increased substantially for the national oil company in recent years, drawing concern from local experts.

Pemex flared 712 MMcf/d of natural gas in the first quarter of 2021, up from 472 MMcf/d in the similar 2020 period. The quarterly figures appear to be part of a larger trend, according to the World Bank’s Global Gas Flaring Tracker published in late April.

Researchers found that flaring in Mexico, where Pemex is the primary oil and gas producer, rose year/year (y/y) in...