|Production from the PEMEX Cantarell complex in 2006. Click to enlarge.|
Oil production from Mexico’s giant Cantarell offshore complex, which now accounts for 50% of PEMEX’s total output, declined 25% during the course of 2006, according to statistics from the Energy Ministry available on the Sistema de Información Energética.
Total Cantarell output dropped from 1.978 million barrels per day in January to 1.493 million barrels per day in December. The Akal-Nohoch field—the main component of Cantarell—declined from 1.920 million barrels per day to 1.439.
Although the sharp decline was partially offset by production from other fields, Mexico’s total petroleum production dropped 12% from 3.371 million barrels per day in January to 2.978 million barrels per day in December.
The decline is more rapid than PEMEX has projected. In testimony before the Energy Committee of the Mexican Senate in November 2006, PEMEX CEO Luis Ramirez Corzo said that production at Cantarell would decline by an average of 14% per year between 2007 and 2015. (Earlier post.)
In August 2005, PEMEX forecast that Cantarell production in 2006 would average 1.905 million bpd—a forecast volume 6% lower as compared to 2005 production of 2.032 million bpd.
The data, however, show an average realized production of 1.788 million bpd in 2006, representing a 12% annual decline from 2005 to 2006—double the forecast.
Cantarell’s production peaked in 2004 at 2.125 million barrels per day, according to PEMEX. In 1997, PEMEX began nitrogen injection to maintain reservoir pressure. The injection regimen supported increasing crude oil production from 1.082 million barrels per day in 1996 to the peak in 2004. (Earlier post.)
The US imports about 1.6 million barrels per day of crude from Mexico—about 12% of the total—making Mexico the number two source of imported crude behind Canada. Saudi Arabia and Venezuela contend for the third spot, according to data from the Energy Information Administration.