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Mexican national oil company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) will need help from the private sector to keep oil and gas production afloat over the coming years, according to Comisión Nacional de Hidrocarburos (CNH) commissioner Sergio Pimentel.

The complexity and scale of the challenge is simply too great for any single operator to tackle, Pimentel said during a presentation in late February.

Pemex oil production averaged 1.62 million b/d in January, the lowest level recorded since at least 1990, and down from a peak of 3.4 million b/d reached in 2004. Natural gas output, the majority of which is associated gas tied to oil production, averaged 3.696 Bcf/d, down 56% from a maximum of 6.516 Bcf/d averaged in 2009.

As a result of falling gas output and rising demand, Mexico now imports 92% of the gas it consumes, Pimentel said, with more than 90% of it coming from the United States. This figure excludes gas used by Pemex and other operators for reinjection and other upstream activities.

“No country in the world imports as much natural gas [proportionally] from a single source as Mexico,” Pimentel said, citing that while countries in Europe such as Germany and France import most or all of the gas they consume, none of these countries imports more than 51% of its gas from a single source.

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