While Mexico suffered the bloodiest year of violent deaths in 2018, even bigger trouble may be ahead for the embattled country. For the first time in more than 50 years, Mexico has become a net importer of oil. This is undoubtedly bad news for the Mexican Government as it has relied upon its oil revenues to fund a large percentage of its public spending.
And, the majority of these revenues came from just one prolific oil field. After the discovery of the huge Cantarell Oil Field in the Gulf of Mexico in 1976, Mexico’s oil production surged from 894,000 barrels per day to a peak of 3.8 million barrels per day (mbd) in 2004. That year, Mexico’s net oil exports exceeded 1.8 mbd.
Unfortunately, the downturn of Mexico’s oil production was also due to the peak and decline of the Cantarell Oil Field, which topped out at 2.1 mbd in 2004 and is now below 135,000 barrels per day: