Pemex November Crude Output Down on Cantarell

MEXICO CITY Dec 20, 2007 (Dow Jones Newswires)

Mexican oil production fell for a second month in a row in November as output at the country's largest field declined by 3.5% in the month.

Total crude production slipping to 2.9 million barrels a day from 3 million barrels a day in October, state oil monopoly Petroleos Mexicanos reported Thursday.

Cantarell, where output peaked in late 2003, saw production slip to 1.3 million barrels a day in November from 1.35 million in October, accounting for half of the overall monthly decline.

Output at Cantarell was stable at around 1.6 million barrels a day during the first seven months of the year, before declining in August and September amid bad weather that forced Pemex to temporarily shut in production at the complex.

In a statement, Pemex said the country's average production levels for the first 11 months of this year are 188,000 barrels a day lower than the year-ago period, primarily due to "natural declines" at Cantarell and general repair and maintenance work at offshore oil fields.

In November, production fell at Pemex's offshore fields and on land in the southern region, while it increased slightly in the northern region, the country's smallest oil production zone.

Despite the fall in production, oil exports rose to 1.87 million barrels a day in November from 1.5 million barrels a day in October. Shipments rose to Pemex's clients in the Americas and Europe. October exports were hurt by bad weather that closed oil ports in the Gulf of Mexico for more than a week, delaying some shipments until November.

The average price of Mexican crude rose to $80.05 a barrel in November from $71.78 a barrel in October.

Natural gas production slipped to 6.088 billion cubic feet a day in November, down from a record of 6.350 billion cubic feet a day in October.

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