FACTBOX-Five facts about Mexico's Maya heavy crude oil blend

Wed Jan 5, 2011 12:13pm EST

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Jan 5 (Reuters) - Exports of Mexico's Maya heavy crude oil blend are expected to fall by more than 10 percent in 2011 due to increased domestic demand and a lack of new production.

(For related story: [ID:nN05219171])

Following are facts about Maya crude:

* Maya is a heavy crude oil with an API specific gravity between 21 and 22 degrees, meaning only the most sophisticated refineries are capable of profitably processing it.

* Maya is a blend of crude oils from the Cantarell and Ku Maloob Zaap oil fields. The discovery of Cantarell, once one of the world's most prolific oil fields, turned Mexico into a major oil exporter in the 1980s.

* Exports peaked at 1.622 million barrels per day in 2004 after a major redevelopment of Cantarell lifted output from the field above 2 million bpd. But production and exports have fallen sharply since then as Cantarell has lost production capacity.

* New production from Ku Maloob Zaap has partially offset the decline of Cantarell, but exports slipped to 968,000 bpd in the first 11 months of 2010. Overseas sales will fall by at least 110,000 bpd in 2011 due to the expansion of Mexico's Minatitlan refinery.

* Valero (444,000 bpd), ExxonMobil^ (145,000 bpd), and Chevron (102,000 bpd) were the top Maya non-Pemex affiliated Maya buyers in October 2010, according to the U.S. government. The Shell-Pemex Deer Park joint venture refinery near Houston processed 243,000 bpd of Maya in October while Mexican refineries averaged 453,000 bpd processed in the first 11 months of 2010.

(^ including Chalmette Refining joint venture) (Reporting by Robert Campbell; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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