Output of Cantarell, Mexico's largest oil field off the shore of Mexico's southern Campeche state, has dropped significantly, averaging just over 1.8 million barrels a day in May, a drop of 7% from the first of the year, and a 15% reduction from the late 2004 peak output. While it has been forecast that the mature field would slowly dry out, the demise seems to happen much faster than expected. Pemex, the company that runs Cantarell, has a worst case scenario prediction for Cantarell, showing production plummet to about 520,000 barrels a day by the end of 2008. This would significantly affect the United States, since Mexico is the No. 2 petroleum supplier, behind Canada
. The chances of finding an other field the size of Cantarell in Mexico or elsewhere are slim to none. It is generally accepted that the world's large oil fields like Cantarell in Mexico and Ghawar in Saudi Arabia have been found, leaving oil companies to hunt for smaller and more remote fields to meet demand. To make matters worse, Pemex has had very little money available to survey for new oil fields, since the government is using the company as its cash cow to fund projects like a baseball stadium in Chihuahua and a gigantic flagpole in Nuevo Leon.
[Source: Los Angeles Times]