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Are Mexico’s Oil Reserves Almost Depleted?

Are Mexico’s Oil Reserves Almost Depleted?

Offshore

Mexico’s oil and gas regulator said last week that the country’s proved hydrocarbon reserves will drop by 10.6 percent in 2017. This forecast, coupled with the lower oil production that state company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) reported for yet another year in 2016, is painting a rather bleak picture of Mexico’s reserves.

Without resumption in investments and more drilling, and if no significant finds occur, Mexico will be running out of reserves within 9 years, according to an official from the National Hydrocarbons Commission.

However, the energy reform that ended Pemex’s monopoly and allowed foreign companies to invest in Mexico’s oil exploration and production is expected to start yielding results by the end of this decade. The deepwater bidding round last December attracted major international oil companies, and Mexico awarded blocks to consortia including Chevron, Exxon, Statoil, BP, Total, and China Offshore Oil Corporation.

In addition, the analysts are now largely calling the end of the downturn and expect deepwater investment to pick up in coming years.

Mexico’s National Hydrocarbons Commission said last week that as of January 1, 2017, the country’s proved oil and gas reserves are estimated at 9.16 billion barrels of oil equivalent, down by 10.6 percent from the 10.243 billion boe as of the beginning of 2016. Proved oil reserves were down 7.9 percent to 7.037 billion barrels from 7.641 billion barrels estimated as of 2016.

In its 2016 results release, Pemex reported crude oil production of 2.154 million bpd last year, down by 5 percent over 2015, mostly due to natural declines of a number of producing fields.

According to the EIA, Mexico’s crude oil production has been steadily dropping since 2005 as a result of natural production declines from Cantarell and other large offshore fields.

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