Mexico's Pemex aims for 1 million bpd rise in crude output by 2024

FILE PHOTO: A view of the headquarters of state owned oil company Pemex in Mexico City, Mexico March 5, 2019. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril/File Photo

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican state oil company Pemex is striving to increase oil production by 1 million barrels per day (bpd) by the end of 2024 by developing existing oilfields and others yet to be discovered, the company’s chief executive said.

If the target is met, the heavily indebted company will surpass President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s goal of ending his term with oil production of 2.4 million bpd, well above the current level of 1.7 million bpd.

Pemex Chief Executive Octavio Romero said the company is developing 20 new fields, including Ixachi, in the southeastern state of Veracruz, which could yield 1.3 billion barrels of potential reserves, according to updated figures.

“Ixachi and the rest of the fields under development will achieve production of around 320,000 bpd of oil and 900 million cubic feet (daily) of gas by the end of 2021,” Romero said at an event.

He added that further production will result from sites already in exploration.

“With this, we estimate reaching production of more than 1 million bpd of oil and 2,700 million cubic feet of gas at the end of this administration,” said Romero. “We are working intensely on all possible plans with authorized investment.”

With an estimated $106 billion in financial debt, Pemex is under intense scrutiny from credit ratings agencies.

Analysts and experts have said the company needs to increase its spending on exploration and production to discover reserves and develop them, halting the firm’s long-running decline in output.

The administration of Lopez Obrador, who took office in December, has taken several measures to shore up the company’s finances. Lopez Obrador has said Pemex was in ruins when he took office due to corruption and the neoliberal policies of previous administrations.

Reporting by Ana Isabel Martinez; writing by Julia Love, editing by G Crosse