(Adds context, comments from energy secretary on Pemex plans in fourth paragraph)
MEXICO CITY, July 8 (Reuters) - Mexican oil production should average around 2.26 million barrels per day (bpd) for the rest of this year and next, the head of Mexico’s National Hydrocarbons Commission said on Wednesday, underscoring still-sagging output at Pemex.
In April, Pemex estimated average output of around 2.3 million bpd this year, down from previous forecasts for 2.4 million bpd and well below a peak of 3.4 million bpd reached in 2004.
Production has declined at Pemex despite a landmark opening of the energy sector completed last year that allows private companies to bid for concessions to explore and produce oil through a series of auctions.
But Energy Secretary Pedro Joaquin Coldwell said that Pemex would not participate in the first phase of the so-called Round One oil auction, which will feature shallow water concessions.
Still, he said, the company was interested in entering future auctions through consortia.
Coldwell also tamped down expectations for interest in the first phase of round one bidding, saying that it would be acceptable if just 30 to 50 percent of the 14 contracts up for tender were awarded. (Reporting by Ana Isabel Martinez and Adriana Barrera; Editing by Christian Plumb)