February 28, 2008 / 1:45 AM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 2-Mexico's Pemex posts $1.48 bln 2007 net loss

(Adds detail on fuel imports, storms and natural gas)

MEXICO CITY, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Mexican state-run oil monopoly Pemex reported a $1.48 billion net loss for 2007, as higher energy imports knocked it back into the red after it managed a rare annual profit in 2006.

Pemex, which is taxed heavily to provide more than a third of the government’s fiscal income, said overall revenues inched up by 2.9 percent in 2007 to an all-time high of $104 billion, boosted by high global oil prices.

Pemex said refined fuel imports rose 14.6 percent, as its strained refineries failed to keep up with demand. Imports of gasoline alone jumped 50.3 percent.

High oil prices helped cushion Pemex’s woes as the company struggled with declining yields at its huge but aging Cantarell offshore oil field. Mexico’s crude oil mix sold at a heady average of $61.66 per barrel in 2007, up from $53.04 in 2006.

Cantarell for years produced 60 percent of Mexico’s oil but output has slid from 2004 peaks. The field is now producing just 42 percent of national output and Pemex has yet to announce a new oil project big enough to take over from it.

Pemex, which ships roughly a third of the oil it produces to the United States, was also hit in 2007 by stormy weather, including the Category 5 Hurricane Dean, that disrupted oil drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico and repeatedly closed major oil exporting ports.

Pemex said crude production dropped 5.3 percent in 2007 to an average of 3.082 million barrels per day. Average crude exports dropped 5.9 percent to 1.686 million bpd.

Natural gas production, which badly lags demand, meaning Mexico has to import gas from the United States, increased 13.1 percent in 2007 to average 6.058 billion cubic feet per day.

Pemex, the world’s most indebted oil company, said its total consolidated debt fell 15.2 percent in 2007 to end the year at $47 billion, after a reduction in long-term debt. Net debt, which subtracts cash equivalents, fell to $31 billion.

Pemex said its tax bill rose 11.8 percent in real terms compared with 2006, despite new legislation aimed at trimming its tax burden.

Pemex executives are due to discuss the group’s 2007 results in a conference call with investors on Friday. (Reporting by Catherine Bremer; Editing by Braden Reddall)

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