Mexico oil production down 9.2 percent in 2008

MEXICO CITY, Jan 22, 2009

Mexico’s state oil company on Wednesday reported a drop in crude production of 9.2 percent in 2008, compared with the previous year, due to a decline in production at its main oil field.

Official estimates suggest that reserves at the Cantarell oil field in the Gulf of Mexico will last less than 10 years.

“Crude oil production was at 2.79 million barrels per day,” the company said in a statement which also blamed operating factors and the weather for the fall.

Although exports were also down, they brought in a record 43.3 billion dollars, the statement said.

Pemex — which contributes to around 40 percent of Mexico’s annual budget — attributed the record takings to a promised sale price of 84.35 dollars per barrel, 36.9 percent higher than in 2007.

Mexico’s state oil company in December sought bids for the drilling of 500 new wells in the giant Chicontepec oil field in southeast Mexico, which it is banking on to replacing dwindling output from other fields.

A watered-down energy reform bill passed in October aims to boost production by opening the sector to more private and foreign investors.

Story from AFP
AFP 01/21/2009 19:03 GMT

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