MEXICO HYDROCARBON RESERVES FALL AS DOMESTIC OIL CONSUMPTION SOARS

MEXICO HYDROCARBON RESERVES FALL AS DOMESTIC OIL CONSUMPTION SOARS

Mexico's hydrocarbon reserves total 65.0 billion barrels, down from the 65.5 billion announced a year ago, according to an annual report by Mexico's state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos.

Proven reserves consist of 44.29 billion barrels of crude oil, 14.07 billion of natural gas and 6.63 billion of condensates.The data was included in Pemex's annual report, released Wednesday on the anniversary of the March 18, 1938, nationalization of the oil industry.

The decline came, one economist noted, despite the discovery of a new oil field in the Gulf of Mexico last year, since domestic consumption was increasing twice as fast as production.

Average gasoline consumption has risen to more than 500,000 barrels a day, up from 450,000 b/d a year ago, the economist said. Domestic production was barely above 400,000 b/d.

A year ago, Pemex said hydrocarbon reserves as of Jan. 1, 1991, totaled 65.5 billion barrels, a drop of 1.4 percent from the previous year.

Francisco Rojas, director of Pemex, said Mexico's 10-year drop in reserves would end this year.

"Thanks to positive results obtained with the increased activity and efficiency in exploration, we reaffirm that in 1992 . . . we will put a complete end to the decline in reserves," he said.

With Mexico's current average production of 2.67 million b/d, reserves can meet demand for the next 50 years. Mexico exported 1.37 million b/d in 1991, equivalent to 51 percent of production.

New discoveries added 691 million barrels to the reserves, he said, noting that amount was equivalent to 53 percent of Pemex's production in 1991.