Mexico Could Pump Extra Oil in Event of War

A top energy official in Mexico has said that the country could produce an extra 100,000 barrels of oil per day in the event of a war with Iraq. "If the world requires more oil Mexico could offer perhaps 100,000 barrels (a day) more," Energy Minister Ernesto Martens told reporters in Monterrey during a visit to inaugurate a power plant.

Last month Mexico said it would raise its export ceiling to 1.88 million bpd effective February 1st. This was due to the shortfall from strike-torn Venezuela. For January, Mexico increased exports to 1.76 million bpd from the 1.66 million bpd ceiling maintained through most of last year. In December Mexico produced an average of 3.269 million bpd, of which it exported 1.690 million bpd on average. Pemex is targeting average crude oil output of 3.5 million bpd by the end of 2003.