Mexican state-owned oil company Petroleos Mexicanos said Friday it expects its crude output to fall by 6.7 percent in 2014 compared to last year, attributing the result to measurement improvements.
The head of Pemex's exploration and production division, Gustavo Hernandez, said production will fall from 2.52 million barrels per day in 2013 to 2.35 million bpd at the close of 2014.
Hernandez downplayed the decline in production, telling reporters that equipment to gauge crude output was recalibrated last December and that adjustment was yielding a more accurate measurement.
He said, however, that 2013 crude production figures would not be revised.
The target for crude production in 2015 is 2.4 billion bpd, just a 2.1 percent increase over 2014's projected level, while natural gas output is expected to come in at 5.8 billion cubic feet per day, roughly equivalent to the forecast level for this year, Hernandez said.
Pemex's board approved those production targets to incorporate them into the "draft budget for 2015," he added.
Crude production will rise next year thanks to improved management of existing deposits, increased production at "incipient" fields and the start of output at new ones, Hernandez said.
Based on the latest figures, Mexico's crude production has fallen by roughly 30 percent from a high of 3.3 million barrels per day in 2004 due to a sharp drop in output at offshore Cantarell, formerly Mexico's most productive field, and a lack of investment.
Last year's energy overhaul, which ended Pemex's decades-old monopoly, is aimed at reversing that decline by allowing private companies to develop crude reserves for the first time since 1938.
Supporters of the controversial overhaul argued that the participation of major multinational energy companies under profit- and production-sharing contracts and licenses is needed to develop promising deep-water reserves in the Gulf of Mexico and shale-gas resources. EFE