| MEXICO CITY, April 24
MEXICO CITY, April 24 Mexico's Pemex is on track
to boost crude oil output by 530,000 barrels per day (bpd) by
2018, the state oil monopoly said on Wednesday.
That would be around 18 percent more than the average 2.55
million bpd it produced last year and closer to a peak of 3.38
million bpd in 2004.
Mexico is the world's No. 7 oil producer and a top exporter
to the United States, but its energy minister has warned the
country could become a net oil importer as early as 2018 if
major new oil finds cannot be developed.
Carlos Morales, director of exploration and production at
Pemex, told Reuters that the additional output
expected to come online by the end of new President Enrique Pena
Nieto's six-year term is consistent with the company's goal of
ramping up production to 3 million bpd by then.
Morales pointed to output expected at two recently developed
offshore Gulf of Mexico oilfields that should be flowing by
2016: 140,000 bpd at Tsimin-Xux and 130,000 bpd at
Ayatsil-Tekel, both in shallow waters.
He said he expects production at the country's Chicontepec
basin, an onshore field located in the east-central states of
Veracruz and Puebla, to grow to 300,000 bpd from about 70,000
Morales added that the company expects other mature, onshore
fields to add another 130,000 bpd, though he didn't specify
"Those are the almost 600,000 barrels of new production
that... would be coming online during this administration," he
The new forecast amounts to an upward revision for each of
the fields Morales cited of between 25 and 48 percent, compared
with estimates Pemex released early last year.
Pena Nieto, of the centrist Institutional Revolutionary
Party, or PRI, has said a sweeping energy reform aimed at luring
private capital will be a top priority this year.
Mexico's government relies on oil revenues to fund about a
third of the federal budget, and the heavy tax burden has
limited Pemex's ability to fund new projects and raise output.