MEXICO CITY, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Mexican state oil company Pemex posted a substantial increase in gasoline and diesel production in October from the prior month, amid a slight rise in processing capacity at its local refineries and higher petroleum imports.
Pemex (PEMX.UL) produced 282,600 barrels per day (bpd) of gasoline in October, up 17% from September. Diesel output jumped 21% to 151,400 bpd, and production of fuel oil fell 2.5% to 272,000 bpd, according to company figures published late Monday.
The state oil company reported an 8.7% increase in petroleum products imports, especially gasoline, which increased 17% in October to 475,000 bpd. Natural gas imports rose 15.5% to 506.9 million cubic feet per day.
Pemex had domestic gasoline sales of almost 648,000 bpd in October, down 4%.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says Mexico will be energy self-sufficient by 2024, ceasing crude exports and instead refining locally to produce fuels.
Experts and critics argue the goal is unattainable considering the deteriorated state of Mexico's local refineries and delays in starting up its new Dos Bocas refinery.
Pemex reported relatively stable crude production of 1.7 million bpd.
Crude processing at its six local refineries rose 3.7% from September to 808,759 bpd, Pemex said, well below their combined capacity of 1.5 million bpd and the official goal of 1.0 million bpd this year.
Pemex's crude oil exports fell 5% in October to 971,000 bpd, of which 651,000 bpd went to "America" - especially the United States- a 12% increase.
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