Mexico's oil, gas reserves slip in 2016: regulator

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico’s oil and gas reserves fell last year as fewer discoveries of gas deposits offset a rise in additional crude reserves, the sector regulator said on Tuesday.

Overall so-called 2P hydrocarbon reserves, or deposits considered proven and probable, fell nearly 6 percent in 2016 to total 16.77 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe), compared to 2015 figures, regulator CNH said.

There is a 50 percent likelihood of commercial recovery of 2P reserves using existing technology.

Meanwhile, Mexico’s so-called 3P reserves, deposits considered proven, probable and possible, slipped 1.1 percent to total 25.86 billion boe, compared to the previous year.

There is a 10 percent likelihood of commercial recovery of 3P reserves using existing technology.

Mexico, the world’s 11th biggest oil producer, aims for a 100 percent replacement rate of its reserves to balance out current crude output of slightly above 2 million barrels per day.

National oil company Petroleos Mexicanos, better known as Pemex, has suffered steep budgets cuts over the past couple of years amid falling oil prices, which has harmed the company’s ability to make new discoveries and boost reserves.

Energy reforms enacted in 2013 ended Pemex’s decades-long monopoly and allowed new private oil and gas producers to operate on their own. But significant new streams of output from the new entrants into the market are still several years off.

Mexico’s 1P, or proven, reserves stood at 9.16 billion boe in 2016, or down by about 10 percent compared to the previous year, according to CNH data released in March.

Reporting by David Alire Garcia and Adriana Barrera; editing by Grant McCool