Mexico's Pemex sees output reaching 2.3 million bpd by end-2024

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican state oil company Pemex expects to steadily increase liquids production, mostly crude oil, over the next few years to reach 2.296 million barrels per day (bpd) by the end of 2024, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: A logo of the Mexican state oil firm PEMEX is pictured at Cadereyta refinery, in Cadereyta, on the outskirts of Monterrey, Mexico August 27, 2020. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a leftist energy nationalist, has made raising oil output and domestic refining the top priorities of his six-year term, which ends in 2024.

In a presentation to a congressional committee, Pemex Chief Executive Officer Octavio Romero said he sees output hitting 1.94 million bpd by the end of this year as new developments contribute more barrels.

“The expectation is to continue growing,” he said.

Romero downplayed the contributions of new private producers - who were allowed to operate fields on their own for the first time thanks to a 2013 energy reform that ended Pemex’s monopoly - as significantly inferior. He did not note that most such projects remain in early, exploratory stages.

He said private output is expected to reach just 70,000 bpd by the end of 2020, and some 280,000 bpd by 2024.

Lopez Obrador favors a state-centric oil industry and has canceled competitive oil auctions that would have allowed private firms to bid on new projects.

Romero, a longtime confidant of the president, said Pemex’s domestic refineries will process 1.1 million bpd of crude by the end of this year, up 10% compared to last year.

He sought to draw attention to the tax contributions the state-run company has contributed to government coffers in the first eight months of this year, around 438 billion pesos ($20.5 billion) or more than 11% of federal government spending.

Pemex shoulders more than $100 billion in financial debt, more than any other oil company, and has seen its oil output decline for 15 years.

Reporting by David Alire Garcia and Ana Isabel Martinez; Editing by Bernadette Baum