Reuters By Marianna Parraga and David Alire Garcia
ACAPULCO, Sept 28 (Reuters) – Mexico will need to double to about $4 billion its annual oil exploration investment to reverse a 14-year decline in output, a move that will require more funding by Pemex and private producers, a top official with the state-run firm said Friday.
The nation’s oil industry needs Petroleos Mexicanos to invest more than $2.5 billion per year and another $1 billion to $1.5 billion from private companies to fully replace its reserves, Jose Antonio Escalera, the firm’s chief of exploration, said at an energy conference in Acapulco.
Escalera made the comments as the administration of President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is still formulating its plan for Pemex and has given mixed signals over the future of the landmark energy reform.
Lopez Obrador, who will take office in December, has said he aims to boost Mexico’s oil production by a third to 2.5 million barrels per day (bpd,) from 1.82 million bpdin August. He also wants to increase domestic refining to end imports of foreign fuel.
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However, he has been a critic of the nation’s opening of its oil industry to outside firms and has called for a review of the more than 100 exploration and production contracts awarded to oil companies, and a suspension of future auctions, casting doubts on what direction the energy reform will take in coming years.
"The reason why Mexico has seen an output decline since 2004 is not because of lack of potential, it is because it […]