Pemex reports sixth straight quarterly loss as production drops
MEXICO CITY (Bloomberg) -- Pemex posted a sixth consecutive quarterly loss as production at the country’s state oil monopoly fell to an almost 19-year low.
The first-quarter net loss of 35.9 bn pesos ($2.74 bn) was eight times larger than its 4.39 bn-peso loss a year earlier, the Mexico City-based company said in a statement. Sales at the world’s fifth-largest crude producer increased 2.7% to 406 bn pesos.
President Enrique Pena Nieto enacted a law Dec. 20 that ended Pemex’s 75-year state oil monopoly by allowing private investment. Opening the door for foreign companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. to produce oil may boost foreign investment by as much as $30 bn a year, according to Edgar Rangel of Mexico’s National Hydrocarbons Commission.
Pemex’s monthly production fell to an average of 2.492 MMbpd in the first quarter, a 2.1% decline from a year earlier, Gustavo Hernandez, acting director of exploration and production, said on an earnings conference call. The average number of operating wells fell 2.6% from a year earlier, he said.
Pemex’s monthly crude production fell to 2.47 MMbpd in March as output at the company’s largest Ku-Maloob-Zaap and Cantarell fields dropped from the previous month. The monthly output was the company’s smallest since October 1995, when it produced 1.898 MMbpd.
Output from the third-largest crude exporter to the U.S. has fallen nine consecutive years because the company lacks sufficient funding and infrastructure to tap the biggest proven oil reserves in Latin America after Venezuela and Brazil.
Pemex forecasts crude output to average 2.522 MMbpd this year, Hernandez said. That’s almost unchanged from the 2.523 MMbpd produced in 2013.