(Adds details on tender, crude imports, context)
MEXICO CITY, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Mexico’s oil company Pemex has relaunched a tender to buy light crude, requesting U.S. shale oil this time, traders said on Wednesday, after a previous attempt to import cargoes for the coming months failed because of lack of offers.
State-run Pemex is seeking up to 2.1 million barrels of U.S. Bakken crude for delivery from November through December at its Pajaritos terminal in six 350,000-barrel cargoes.
Bids were received until Oct. 16, and the winner of the tender is expected to be announced later this week, according to the traders.
Pemex has been trying to import U.S. light oil mostly for its Salina Cruz refinery, Mexico’s largest. A tender launched earlier this month to buy unblended Light Louisiana Sweet crude was not awarded because of lack of bids.
It is difficult to find unblended LLS crude compared to some shale crude grades, according to traders.
On the other hand, shale oil is reaching U.S. ports easier since the Dakota Access Pipeline started operating last year, creating a direct route to the Gulf Coast. The first export of Bakken crude from North Dakota was registered in the second quarter of 2017, destined for Singapore.
Pemex Chief Executive Officer Carlos Trevino last month said the company would import up to 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude at least until the end of November to offset a declining supply of domestic light oil to its refineries. The early depletion of the Xanab shallow-water oilfield has curtailed Pemex’s availability of light grades.
Trevino also said last week that the reference price included in the previous tender to import U.S. oil was too old, so 11 companies registered ultimately decided not to bid.
Pemex’s crude production declined again in August to 1.82 million bpd. After confirming it will not reach its 2018 production goal of 1.95 million bpd, the company has not set a new crude output target. (Reporting by Marianna Parraga in Mexico City and and Liz Hampton in Houston; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Grant McCool)