Mexico to Increase Crude Oil Output
By BLOOMBERG NEWS
MEXICO CITY, Sept. 2 (Bloomberg News) — Mexico, the world's fourth-largest
oil producer, plans to increase its crude oil output by about 13 percent
next year, to around 3.65 million barrels a day, according to a presidential report submitted to Congress today.
President Vicente Fox's second annual report on the state of the nation
also said Mexico planned to increase production of crude oil to about 4.1
million barrels a
day by the end of his term in 2006, from an average of 3.22 million barrels in the first eight months of 2002.
Analysts say Mr. Fox's plan may be too ambitious unless Congress reduces
the fiscal burden on the state oil company, Petróleos Mexicanos,
which pays about 60
percent of its revenue in taxes, leaving little for investment in exploration and production.
"The company needs more resources to invest," said José Coballasi,
an analyst at Standard & Poor's. "Fox's administration has done a lot
to signal to the public and
to legislators that changes are needed."
Mr. Fox hopes to raise output of Mexico's heavy crude by 10 percent
in 2003, to about 2.47 million barrels a day, and increase production of
light and super-light
crudes by 15 percent, to 1.18 million barrels a day, the report said.
Mexico was ranked the world's fourth-largest crude oil producer in July,
according to the International Energy Agency, a part of the Organization
Cooperation and Development.
The presidential report also forecast a 3.2 percent increase in Mexico's
output of refined products after finishing expansions at four of the country's
reversing years of declines in capacity.
Refining capacity at Pemex, as the state oil company is known, has declined
by about 2.3 percent, to an average of 1.25 million barrels of crude oil
a day processed
last year from 1.28 million barrels a day in 1998.