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Pemex Oil Production Falls as Cantarell Hits Record Low

Petroleos Mexicanos, the world’s third-largest oil producer, said crude production fell for a fifth month after its aging Cantarell field posted the lowest output in at least 22 years.

Daily production from the state-owned company, known as Pemex, dropped 1 percent to 2.546 million barrels this month, from 2.573 million a year earlier, according to a preliminary production report from the Mexico City-based company today. Cantarell’s output fell 14 percent from April 2011 to 400,000 barrels a day, the lowest since at least 1990, when the Energy Ministry started to publish Pemex’s production.

Cantarell’s production has slid 74 percent since 2006 to 449,000 barrels a day last year, dragging down the country’s daily output. Pemex has sought to stop declining output at Cantarell, the world’s third-largest field when it was discovered in 1976, by injecting natural gas and using other recovery methods.

Pemex is maintaining its goal of increasing output this year to more than 2.6 million barrels a day, the company’s press office said in an e-mailed statement in response to a Bloomberg request.

“This month’s drop was due to certain seasonal affects on operations,” the company said. “It’s estimated that output will start growing again.”

Pemex Chief Executive Officer Juan Jose Suarez Coppel said last month that gains from Cantarell would be the support to boost Mexico’s annual production for the first time in eight years.

“We foresee a stable and increasing Cantarell field,” Suarez Coppel said in a March 6 interview.

Saudi Aramco and the National Iranian Oil Co. are the two largest oil producers, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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