Mexican oil production climbed to its highest level since September 2011, totaling 2.932 mb/d in August. This was exactly at the same levels as last year, reducing the year-to-August decline to just 35 thousand b/d. Ageing oilfields and a lack of investment in exploration have crippled Mexico's oil production since peaking in 2004. In fact, the country lost over quarter of its capacity between 2004 and 2009, from a peak of 3.9 mb/d to a low of 2.3 mb/d. Output from the Cantarell field has plunged by more than 75% since 2004, from 2.1 mb/d to 0.5 mb/d in 2011, with the Mexican oil ministry expecting an average of just 0.44 mb/d in 2012. Since 2009, however, production growth at the Ku-Maloob-Zap (KMZ) oilfield has helped to partially offset Cantarell's declines, stabilising Mexico's output around 2.9 mb/d (see Figure 1). Output from the KMZ field should peak at just under 1 mb/d in 2013, up from around 0.85 mb/d currently, with the start-up of the Ayatsil and Pit satellite fields. Output will start to decline from 2014, when we could once again see a step up in overall decline rates in the country.
Meanwhile, Mexico's crude exports increased by 19.9% m/m to 1.347 mb/d, with a particularly large jump in exports to Asia. Year on year though, exports were lower by 6%, primarily due to the continued decline in exports to the US, where domestic production from tight oils continue to rise. Mexican demand continued to increase in August, up y/y by 27 thousand b/d to 1.871 mb/d, led by growth in diesel and fuel oil.