By KELIN DILLON
As Mexico continues to put focus on its home-grown oil assets as part of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) initiative for the nation’s energy self-sufficiency, which has included investments such as the costly construction of the Dos Bocas crude oil refinery in Tabasco, Mexico continues to move away from meeting its annual oil production goals — in spite of the fact that the government standards have already been slashed down to 2 million barrels per day from 2.6 million barrels per day across the first three and a half years of López Obrador’s term.
Mexico is anticipated to produce 1.872 million barrels of oil per day in 2023, figures which sit 6.4 percent less than the 2 million barrel per day goal established in the 2023 Economic Package’s Federal Income Law Initiative.
According to daily Mexican newspaper Reforma, Mexico’s oil production projections for 2024 are similarly estimated to come in below the government’s goals, with anticipations currently putting 2024’s production levels at 1.909 million barrels of oil per day, 4.5 percent less than Mexico’s objectives.
AMLO’s initial goals were high when he first took the presidency, striving for 2.6 million barrels per day when entering office, which was then lowered to 2.38 million barrels per day after failing to meet projections, again lowered to 2.164 million barrels, and once more lowered to the 2 million barrels per day goal standard Mexico has – but is still continually failing to meet – today.
“The criteria on which the Budget Project is built are extremely optimistic, the idea of being able to produce 1.8 million barrels per day is frankly very difficult to achieve considering the current situation of the production platform,” said energy expert Arturo Carranza.
“These are goals that are difficult to sustain when taking into account that the exploration and production program of Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) today are subject to great challenges that cannot be overcome or resolved,” continued Carranza. “Production is lagging behind and I do not see that the situation could change in the remainder of the year or that it will be different by 2023, in addition to the fact that the international landscape is extremely uncertain.”
Between the production of both Pemex and privately owned operators, Mexico produced 1.622 million barrels per day of oil on average in July 2022 — 18.9 percent away from its 2 million barrel per day goal.