Mexico’s existing oil reserves are dwindling so fast the country could go dry within nine years without new discoveries.
That’s the message from the National Hydrocarbons Commission, which said Friday that the reserves fell 10.6% to 9.16 Bbbl in 2016, from 10.24 Bbbl a year earlier. Once the world’s third largest crude producer, Mexico’s proven reserves have declined 34% since 2013.
The decline in proven reserves is driven by record-low drilling activity the last three years, according to CNH Commissioner Hector Acosta. State-owned producer Petroleos Mexicanos drilled 21 wells last year, a record low, after averaging 31 per year since 2010.
“If there isn’t drilling, it is going to be difficult to incorporate new finds,” Acosta said. “The production figures and indicators that we are observing, tell us that there are flaws in the drilling activities being carried out by Pemex.”