Pemex Monthly Output Lowest Since 1995 as Crude Declines Persist

Petroleos Mexicanos’ July oil production fell to its lowest monthly level in almost 18 years as the world’s fifth-largest crude oil producer heads toward a ninth straight year of declining output.

Crude production dropped to 2.482 million barrels a day in July from 2.519 million the previous month, state-owned Pemex said today. July production was the smallest monthly output by Pemex since October 1995, when it produced 1.898 million barrels a day. Crude exports rose to 1.21 million barrels from 1.09 million in June.

The diminished production comes on the heels of President Enrique Pena Nieto and his Institutional Revolutionary Party’s congressional proposal on Aug. 8 to allow for private investment in the oil sector. The proposed bill calls for the end of the government’s monopoly on production and would allow private companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. to pump crude for the first time since 1938.

Pemex, the third-largest crude oil exporter to the U.S., has seen production plummet as output from the Cantarell field has plunged more than 80 percent since 2004. Pemex lowered its year-end 2013 output goal last month to an average of 2.541 million barrels a day, 0.6 percent below the company’s goal to produce more than 2.55 million barrels this year, according to Carlos Morales, head of production and exploration.

Pemex reported July 26 that its second-quarter net loss widened to 49 billion pesos ($3.87 billion) from the year-ago period. Sales slid 3.2 percent to 393 billion pesos on lower fuel prices and declining exports, the company said in a regulatory filing.

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