Mexico exports first shipment of extra light Olmeca crude to India

MEXICO CITY Tue Feb 4, 2014 3:12pm EST

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MEXICO CITY Feb 4 (Reuters) - Mexico's national oil company Pemex will export its first shipment of extra light Olmeca crude to India later this month, the company said on Tuesday, as it seeks to expand markets beyond the neighboring United States.

Pemex's commercial arm P.M.I. Comercio Internacional will deliver a shipment of 500,000 barrels of Olmeca in addition to 1.5 million barrels of heavy Maya crude oil to the Asian nation during the second half of February, a company spokesperson told Reuters.

Olmeca is Mexico's most valuable form of crude. The vast majority of Mexican output is heavier crude which is more costly to refine.

Current average Mexican oil exports to India are around 100,000 bpd, which up until now has only comprised of Maya.

The exports are part of an ongoing plan by Pemex to diversify its export markets away from the United States, which is importing less Mexican crude as its own domestic production surges.

Last year, about 70 percent of Mexico's crude exports were sent to the United States, but export volumes to the U.S. are down by half since reaching a peak of 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2004, according to data from Mexico's national statistics agency INEGI.

Mexico's crude oil production, which currently stands at 2.5 million bpd, is down by a quarter over the past decade.

Pemex has said it sees both India and China as future growth markets for its crude.

A sweeping energy reform signed into law in December promises to boost output by luring significant new streams of foreign investment into Mexico's oil industry over the next several years.

So-called secondary laws needed to implement the reform are expected by April.

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