Mexico: Mexico seeks better trade terms from Vitol following bribery scandal

Mexico is looking to renegotiate some of its hundreds of millions of dollars worth of contracts with Vitol SA after the global energy trader acknowledged paying kickbacks to win business with state oil company Pemex, Reuters has learned.

The dispute in Mexico, the world’s fourth-largest importer of refined oil products, is part of the fallout from a December agreement that Houston-based Vitol Americas made with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

The energy trader agreed to pay $164 million to U.S. and Brazilian authorities after admitting it bribed officials in Mexico, Brazil and Ecuador between 2015 and 2020 to obtain and retain business with state oil companies there, the deferred prosecution agreement showed.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on March 3 announced his government has launched its own criminal investigation into the scheme.

In addition, Pemex is scouring existing contracts with Vitol for signs of anything “irregular,” and will be looking to jettison provisions it considers unfavourable, Chief Executive Octavio Romero Oropeza told Reuters in an interview Thursday.

“Now we need to question practically everything,” Romero Oropeza said. “If we can’t come to an agreement, we’ll stop doing business with Vitol.”

The Mexican government’s push to seek better terms from Vitol has not been previously reported.

The original full article can be found at

(Photo: REUTERS/Henry Romero)

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