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ENI Helps Push Private Oil Production in Mexico Toward 100,000 Barrels Per Day

The Italian oil company doubled its production in March after one of its sharpest declines during the previous month due to well pressure problems

The Miamte vessel arrived in the Gulf of Mexico to solve pressure problems suffered by Italian company ENI at the Miztón field. (Photo: Courtesy of ENI).
May 09, 2022 | 04:00 am

Mexico City — Private oil companies operating in Mexico reported production of 97,106 barrels per day in March, a new record since such companies were granted permission to extract oil in the country by the 2013 energy reform.

The increase of 9.5%, or 8,451 barrels is due in part to Italian oil company Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi (ENI) ramping up production at the Miztón field, where it has suffered pressure problems due to the delay in the arrival of a vessel that was able to fix the problem.

Private oil production increased by 66% in March compared with the same month of last year, according to the country’s hydrocarbons commission CNH.

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Fieldwood Energy, led by Andrés Brügmann, leads private production in Mexico, with 22,702 barrels per day from the Ichalkil and Pokoch offshore fields, followed by ENI, Petrofac, Hokchi and Diavaz, which contribute more than 80% of private production.

Mexico produced 1.62 million barrels per day during March. Of that total, 95% corresponds to production by state-owned oil company Pemex, and the remaining 5% to the private sector.

The government of former president Enrique Peña Nieto ended Pemex’s monopoly on oil exploration and production and opened the sector to private investment with changes to the Mexican Constitution, approved by Congress in December 2013.

Mexico’s President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has criticized the performance of private oil companies however, due to production shortfalls, and said his government could cancel contracts for non-compliance, but he said he will respect the commitments he made with the companies at the beginning of his six-year term in 2018.

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The oil companies and the president agreed to a production of 280,000 barrels per day by the end of his six-year term in 2024.

For this year, the goal is 209,000 barrels per day.

The Mexican Association of Hydrocarbons Companies (Amexhi) acknowledged in April that oil companies face a delay in production and expect to establish new forecasts in mid-2022.