Is Mexico Running Out Of Oil?

Mexican oil production could be headed for a sharp decline, causing major energy problems for the United States.
July 6, 2006, 8am PDT | Charles Siegel
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"Situated in the hot, swampy lowlands of southeast Mexico's Tabasco state, the Bellota complex was built in 1992 and remains one of the country's most modern petroleum facilities. But daily output from surrounding fields has fallen to only 35,000 barrels of oil, about one-quarter of the average during the 1990s, said Rodriguez, the oil-field boss."

The decline in production is present at other once prosperous fields in Mexico, including the Cantarell offshore oil field in the Gulf of Mexico, which is second only in size to the Ghawar field in Saudi Arabia.

"If the worst-case projections turn out to be correct, Mexico's oil exports to the United States could decline by as much as 1 million barrels a day from its current 1.5 million."

With the nation's oil fields under the control of the state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos, known as Pemex, there is increasing worry that the Mexican oil industry does not have the resources to halt the decline, which will severely impact the domestic economy, and create further strain on the global supply of oil.

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Published on Friday, June 30, 2006 in The San Francisco Chronicle
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