Crude oil production from Mexico's Pemex up slightly in December

FILE PHOTO: A general view shows Mexico state oil firm Pemex's Cadereyta refinery in Cadereyta, on the outskirts of Monterrey, Mexico January 23, 2019. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Crude production from state-owned oil company Pemex averaged 1.71 million barrels per day (bpd) in December, up 0.8 percent compared to output the previous month, according to company data published on Friday.

Despite the monthly uptick, December production levels are among the lowest on record dating back several decades for the struggling Mexican oil giant.

The firm’s crude output has steadily declined since hitting 3.4 million bpd in 2004 as its top-producing fields located in the shallow waters of the southern Gulf of Mexico have aged, and new ones to replace them have not been developed.

Pemex’s oil exports, meanwhile, rose 5.6 percent to reach 1.198 million bpd in December, and for the seventh-consecutive month were made up entirely of the company’s flagship heavy Maya grade.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who took office on Dec. 1, has pledged to boost Pemex’s budget and raise output to between 2.4-2.6 million bpd by the end of his six-year term in 2024.

Reporting by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Sandra Maler