Mexico reports on proven reserves in January

Mar 18, 2009 01:00 AM

Mexico's proven reserves of crude and equivalent stood at 14.3 bn barrels on January 1, down 2.7 % on the year-earlier reserve level, President Felipe Calderon said.
The decline was Mexico's lowest in at least five years and marked a sharp increase in the country's reserve replacement rate, said Calderon at a rally to mark the 71st anniversary of the Mexican oil industry.

Last year, 72 % of Mexican production was replaced by new discoveries and reclassifications of reserves into the proven category, he said.
"That compares with a 41 % replacement rate in 2006 when my administration began," Calderon said. Mexico now has proven reserves to cover 10 years of production at current rates, he added. The president said Mexico's total proven, probable and possible reserves stood at 43.6 bn barrels on January 1, down from 44.5 bn barrels a year earlier.

Calderon's speech was the highlight of a generally lacklustre ceremony. But it lacked an element that many had been waiting for an announcement of the location of a new refinery for state Pemex. The decision to build the refinery was announced by Calderon last October as part of a package of measures to bolster the Mexican economy against the world crisis.
Amid fierce lobbying by state governors, Pemex director-general Jesus Reyes Heroles had promised an announcement on the location in February. When no announcement was forthcoming, speculation centred on Oil Nationalization Day.

But Calderon, who had earlier said a decision on the location would be taken on strictly technical grounds, threw the initiative back into the political arena. He called on Congress to debate the issue with participation by all interested parties.
But Calderon left little time for a decision, setting April 15 as the deadline.

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