Mexico’s natural gas production averaged 4.09 Bcf/d in 2022, up from 3.85 Bcf/d in 2021, according to the latest figures from upstream regulator Comisión Nacional de Hidrocarburos (CNH).

State oil company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) supplied 3.85 Bcf/d of the 2022 total, up from 3.65 Bcf/d in 2021. Private sector production averaged 234.7 MMcf/d in 2022, up from 203.81 MMcf/d in 2021.

For December 2022, Mexico’s natural gas production averaged 4.16 Bcf/d, compared to 3.95 Bcf/d in December 2021. Pemex accounted for 3.93 Bcf/d of the December total, up from 3.74 Bcf/d a year earlier. Private sector gas production, meanwhile, averaged 233.1 MMcf/d in December 2022, versus 204.8 MMcf/d in December 2021.

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The Quesqui and Ixachi onshore fields were the top two gas producing fields in December at 621 and 313 MMcf/d, respectively. The fields, both discovered by Pemex in 2019, have been crucial to offsetting declining output at mature fields in the company’s portfolio such as the Ku-Maloob-Zaap shallow water complex.

The top five list of producing fields was rounded out by Maloob (283 MMcf/d), Akal (260 MMcf/d), and Onel (185 MMcf/d), all of which are operated by Pemex.

The stabilization of production caused a slight year/year reduction of Mexico’s pipeline gas imports from the United States during summer 2022.

Pemex, for its part, is targeting full-year average gas production of 4.67 Bcf/d in 2023, up 20% from the 3.88 Bcf/d figure it reported in the third quarter of 2022. CNH published its own, less optimistic forecast in fall 2022.

Production figures do not tell the full story, however, of the amount of natural gas available to the market. This is due to the fact that Mexico’s oil and gas sector itself consumes nearly 2 Bcf/d of natural gas, according to figures from energy ministry Sener.

Excluding Pemex’s gas demand, imports supplied 83% of Mexico’s gas demand as of August 2022, CNH data show. This is down from 91% in August 2021.

Despite the recent uptick in production, midstream companies serving the Mexican market such as TC Energy Corp. and Kinder Morgan Inc. are forecasting substantial increases in pipeline imports from the United States by the end of this decade.

Mexico’s crude oil production, meanwhile, averaged 1.62 million b/d in 2022, down from 1.66 million b/d in 2021.

Pemex accounted for 1.52 million b/d or 94% of the total, down from 1.6 million b/d in 2021. Private operators supplied the remaining 99,060 b/d, up from 64,191 b/d a year earlier.

Liquids production overall, including both oil and condensate, averaged 1.84 million b/d in 2022, up from 1.78 million b/d in 2021.

Liquids production in December 2022 was led by the Maloob, Zaap, Quesqui, Ayatsil and Tupilco Profundo fields, all of which are operated by Pemex.