UPDATE 2-Mexico's Pemex sees crude output at 2.4 mln bpd in 2015
(Adds Pemex comment explaining outlook for natural gas production)
By Ana Isabel Martinez
MEXICO CITY Aug 29 (Reuters) - Mexican state oil giant Pemex on Friday forecast its crude oil output would average 2.4 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2015, which could mark the first year that crude production at the company has risen in over a decade.
The company expects output of 2.35 million bpd this year.
Meanwhile, Pemex's natural gas production is seen falling next year by over 12 percent compared with the average output reported through the first seven months of this year.
A company spokesman said that the dip is explained by more accurate measuring techniques now being implemented and that natural gas output in 2015 would actually be "similar" to this year.
President Enrique Pena Nieto signed into law this month the final elements of a sweeping energy overhaul aimed at reversing declining crude production and luring billions of dollars in private investment to the sector.
The reform ended Pemex's 75-year monopoly, and it will now be able to enter into first-ever joint ventures with oil majors.
Gustavo Hernandez, head of Pemex's exploration and production arm, told reporters that next year's gains will come from a mix of better-producing mature fields as well as new fields. He pointed to the heavy oil Ayatsil-Tekel-Utsil field, located in the shallow waters of southern Gulf of Mexico, which he said will begin commercial production in October. Continuación...