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Mexico says reform won’t reverse oil woes fast

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – It will be hard for Mexico to restore flagging oil output before 2020 to recent levels of 3 million barrels per day, even if the government pushes through a plan to boost foreign investment in production efforts, a top energy official said on Tuesday.

Mexico’s status as a top supplier of crude oil to the United States is under threat because of a steady fall in output, which in the last year has slipped below the country’s recent production goal of 3.0 million bpd.

“What the country needs is to return to these levels for 2020. It will be hard to achieve that,” Deputy Energy Minister Jordy Herrera told reporters after an oil sector event in Congress.

President Felipe Calderon hopes centrists in Congress will help pass a plan to boost private investment in the country’s state-run oil sector.

Asked if that plan would let Mexico get back to producing 3.0 million bpd by 2020, Herrera said: “It’s difficult due to the time it takes to create infrastructure and the administrative challenges in making Pemex grow.”

Other Mexican energy officials have said reforms would not boost production quickly, but Herrera’s comments were the gloomiest yet on how long it could take for production to recover, even if Calderon gets his plan approved.


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