Pemex Vows to Stick with Chicontepec Project

MEXICO CITY (Dow Jones), Apr. 16, 2010

The head of exploration and production at Mexican state oil monopoly Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, said Thursday that the company's goal is to keep crude oil production between 2.4 million and 3 million barrels a day in the 2010 to 2024 period.

Carlos Morales said at an event that the state company still expects to produce at least 2.5 million barrels a day of crude oil on average this year.

He said that at some point, output could go as low as 2.4 million barrels a day, although Pemex's aim is for production to keep rising.

"That is the floor," Morales said.

The official also said that given the large reserves in the onshore Chicontepec region, Pemex can't abandon that project, which is important to its future production plans.

In a report released last week, the National Hydrocarbons Commission, a regulatory body set up under a 2008 energy reform, called for the Chicontepec project to be redesigned because of the high cost of developing the reserves and disappointing output so far.

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