Mexico’s natural gas production averaged 3.95 Bcf/d in November, up from 3.65 Bcf/d in the same month a year ago, according to upstream regulator Comisión Nacional de Hidrocarburos (CNH).

National oil company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) accounted for 3.72 Bcf/d of the November 2019 total, up from 3.49 Bcf/d in the year-ago month.

CNH attributed 228 MMcf/d of production to the private sector in November 2019, up from 158 MMcf/d in November 2018.

Although CNH has not yet broken down the November production figures by contract, October data show that private sector gas output was led by the CNH-M3-Misión/2018 contract, which pertains to the Misión area of the Burgos Basin in northern Mexico.

The Misión contract produced 119.9 MMcf/d in October 2019, up from 72.2 MMcf/d in the same month a year ago, CNH data show.

Servicios Múltiples de Burgos, S.A. de C.V. (SMB), holds a 49% operating interest in the area, while Pemex holds the remaining 51% stake.

SMB is a 50/50 joint venture between Tecpetrol S.A. and Industrial Perforadora de Campeche (IPC).

In March 2018, Pemex and SMB announced the migration of SMB’s oilfield services (OFS) contract at Misión, which was formerly operated by Pemex, to a production-sharing contract.

The agreement, made possible by Mexico’s 2013-2014 constitutional energy reform, marked the country’s first ever-migration of an OFS contract to a production-sharing contract at a gas field.

“We celebrate being able to continue with Pemex -- now as partners -- in the development of the Burgos Basin gas reserves,” Tecpetrol’s Ricardo Ferreiro, regional manager for Mexico, said at the time.

The Burgos is Mexico’s largest producing basin of non-associated gas.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in 2017 that the Burgos contained the largest undeveloped shale resource in Mexico, and that with enough foreign investment, the Burgos could rival the Eagle Ford Shale just over the border in South Texas.

Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador canceled CNH bid rounds 3.2 and 3.3, which would have made available conventional and unconventional gas blocks in the Burgos.

Tecpetrol, a subsidiary of Italy-based Techint Group, has helped lead development of the Vaca Muerta Shale formation in Argentina through its Fortín de Piedra project in Neuquén province.

The Asociación Mexiana de Empresas de Hidrocarburos (AMEXHI), Mexico’s oil and gas trade association, said this month it expects private sector producers to close out the year with gas output of 240 MMcf/d, and for that number to reach 450 MMcf/d by 2024.

Pemex, meanwhile, has pledged to reach natural gas output of 4.92 Bcf/d by 2024, although analysts have expressed skepticism about the feasibility of this goal.

Pemex aims to produce 600 MMcf/d by 2023 from the Ixachi field in Veracruz state. Ixachi is part of Pemex Assignation AE-0032, which produced 45.9 MMcf/d in November 2019, up from 13.1 MMcf/d in the same month a year ago