Pemex Ups Year-End Oil Output, But Is Likely to Miss 2012 Target

MEXICO CITY - Mexico's state-owned oil company Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, is currently having one of its best months this year for crude-oil production, and it comes after an even better November. However, it looks like the oil monopoly will fall short of its internal goal of ending the year-on-year slide in oil output since 2004, Pemex's numbers show.

In the first two weeks of December, Pemex crude-oil production averaged 2.573 million barrels a day after November's 2.577 million barrels a day. Both easily beat the full-year 2011 average of 2.553 million barrels a day. But Pemex got off to a slow start this year and will likely fall short of last year's average output by a few thousand barrels a day.

Pemex said in a statement Tuesday November's crude-oil output was the highest level in 19 months, as it brought new wells online at offshore sites in the Gulf of Mexico and at onshore sites in the east and south. Beginning in May of this year, the company said, the combined new projects added an average of 156,000 barrels of oil per day.

One of Pemex's new offshore projects, the Tsimin-Xux complex, began production in August and has averaged nearly 11,000 barrels a day, Pemex said in the release.

In a separate report, Pemex figures showed that the mature, offshore Cantarell complex held mostly steady this year at around 400,000 barrels of oil production per day, and the top-producing Ku-Maloob-Zaap complex was at historically high levels in early December at 867,000 barrels a day.

Although Pemex is likely to fall a bit short of its internal crude-oil production goal this year if current rates hold, the oil monopoly is well on course to beat the targets set out by Mexico's Congress in the 2012 budget for crude-oil production, for export levels, and for the average-price for a barrel of export oil. Pemex provides about a third of the federal budget through taxes, royalties and other charges.

High oil prices in recent years have allowed Pemex to partially compensate for the drop in oil production from its peak of nearly 3.4 million barrels a day in 2004.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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