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Pemex May Boost Production by 2013, Morales Says

May 3 (Bloomberg) -- Petroleos Mexicanos, the state-owned oil company, may increase output to as much as 2.8 million barrels a day by 2013, said the head of the exploration and production unit.

Ku-Maloob-Zaap, Mexico’s largest oil project, will keep producing about 850,000 barrels a day “for the next two or three years,” Carlos Morales told reporters today in Mexico City, where Pemex is based.

The company is trying to extend the life of Ku-Maloob-Zaap by maintaining output at current levels instead of accelerating too rapidly, Morales said. About a third of the company’s 2.595 million barrels of daily output last month came from Ku-Maloob-Zaap wells.

Pemex may need to boost spending by about a third to more than $25 billion a year as it seeks to meet long-term output targets, Mexican Energy Minister Georgina Kessel said April 29 in an interview. Chief Executive Officer Juan Jose Suarez Coppel aims to boost production for the first time in six years, as he slows output declines at the Cantarell field and spends about $19 billion on projects such as Ku-Maloob-Zaap and Chicontepec.

Morales, 55, said Chicontepec will produce 58,000 barrels a day by the end of 2010 and 80,000 barrels at the end of 2011. He said Pemex is proposing a budget for next year of almost 20 billion pesos ($1.6 billion) for Chicontepec, an onshore field that missed production targets last year.

Output

Ku-Maloob-Zaap’s output climbed 11 percent to 809,015 barrels a day in March from the same period a year earlier, the energy ministry said on April 23.

Pemex plans to start drilling in October its first ultra-deepwater exploration well in an area of the Gulf of Mexico known as El Perdido Foldbelt, Morales said. Oil discoveries on the U.S. side of the Gulf remove “some of the risk” of drilling in waters as deep as 10,000 feet, he said.

Crude output for Mexico, and its aging Cantarell field, peaked in December 2003 at about 3.5 million barrels a day, according to Energy Ministry data.

To contact the reporter on this story: Carlos Manuel Rodriguez in Mexico City at carlosmr@bloomberg.net; Jose Enrique Arrioja at jarrioja@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net.

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