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Mexico’s state oil company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) will invest 56 billion pesos or about $3 billion in the natural gas-rich Ixachi field in Veracruz with the aim of reaching production of 80,000 b/d of crude and 600 MMcf/d of gas by 2023, CEO Octavio Romero Oropeza said on Tuesday.

The field, considered one of the biggest finds in the past two decades in Mexico with proved, possible and probable reserves of 1.5 billion boe, is already producing 30 MMcf/d of gas and 3,600 b/d of condensate, Romero said.

Though important to improving gas supply to Mexico’s gas-deprived southeast, Ixachi would only partially offset gas declines in the country. Pemex gas production fell to an average 3.66 Bcf/d in the first quarter compared to 3.886 Bcf/d in 2018, 4.205 Bcf/d in 2017 and 4.866 Bcf/d in 2016. Production peaked at 6.516 Bcf/d in 2009.

However, Ixachi is only a part — albeit the biggest part — of the plan to reverse declining production.

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