October 20, 2008 / 5:49 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 3-Mexico September crude exports slump due to Ike

(Adds Cantarell oil production, oil product imports)

MEXICO CITY, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Mexican oil exports fell in September to 1.060 million barrels per day because of lower demand from U.S. refineries affected by Hurricane Ike, state energy monopoly Pemex said on Monday.

September production was 2.722 million bpd, down from 2.759 million bpd in August, Pemex said.

Mexico’s giant Cantarell oil field produced an average of 940,017 bpd, down from 951,230 bpd in August. Cantarell once produced over 2 million bpd and produced nearly two-thirds of Mexico’s oil.

Natural gas imports in September were 311.4 million cfd versus 414.1 million cfd in August.

Pemex temporarily cut crude production by 250,000 barrels per day last month as Hurricane Ike damaged refineries in the United States, the destination of most of Mexico’s oil exports.

Mexico exported 1.416 million barrels per day on average in August.

Mexico, the world’s 10th largest crude exporter, faces declining production and reserves while domestic demand for gasoline grows. The country imported 306,000 bpd of gasoline and 102,000 bpd of diesel fuel in September.

The sharp fall in oil production has prompted President Felipe Calderon to propose reforms to energy legislation to allow private companies to help Pemex boost exploration efforts as well as increase domestic refining capacity.

The reforms have met resistance from leftists in Congress although a watered down package, backed by centrists, is expected to win approval this week.

Pemex said in a statement on Monday its production from January through September was down 9.7 percent over the same period last year to 2.822 million barrels per day.

Ike caused Mexico to reduce production by a total of 1.943 million barrels during September, Pemex said. (Reporting by Noel Randewich; editing by Jim Marshall)

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