UPDATE 1-Mexico's Pemex posts third-quarter profit of 23.9 billion pesos

Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:04pm EDT

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MEXICO CITY Oct 29 (Reuters) - Mexico's state oil monopoly Pemex reported a third-quarter profit of 23.9 billion pesos ($1.86 billion) on higher revenue, the company said in a report filed with the Mexican stock exchange on Monday.

Pemex reported third-quarter revenues of 408.9 billion pesos ($31.8 billion) in the July to September period, up 4.3 percent compared with the third-quarter of 2011.

Pemex posted a net loss of 81 billion pesos for the year-earlier period on revenue totaling 392 billion pesos.

The company said revenue was boosted by higher U.S. and domestic gasoline prices, more than compensating for a 4.2 percent appreciation of the peso against the dollar during the quarter.

The volume of Pemex's crude exports slid by 2.6 percent, but the company reported a slight uptick in export sales compared with the same quarter last year.

Mexico's government relies heavily on oil revenues to fund about a third of the federal budget.

For the quarter, Pemex said its tax burden rose 5 percent, reaching 223.4 billion pesos ($17.4 billion).

Mexico is the world's No. 7 oil producer and a major exporter to the United States but has to import nearly half of its gasoline due to a lack of domestic refining capacity.

The company said that average oil production reached 2.54 million barrels per day for the quarter.

Last year, Pemex offered its first-ever private operating contracts for several mature fields, the fruit of 2008 reforms aimed at boosting the country's oil sector.

A third round of contracts focusing on Mexico's massive but geologically complicated Chicontepec basin, home to 40 percent of the country's total crude reserves, is expected to be awarded next summer.

Oil production has fallen off from a 3.4 million barrel peak in 2004 and incoming president-elect Enrique Pena Nieto, who is set to take office in December, said he plans to overhaul the energy industry under state control since 1938 by luring more private investment.

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