February 24, 2017 / 9:18 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Mexico's Pemex Jan crude output drops 10.6 pct from a year ago

(Adds January crude exports, paragraphs 3-5)

MEXICO CITY, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Mexican national oil company Pemex produced 10.6 percent less crude oil in January than in the same month last year, the company said.

January crude output averaged 2.02 million barrels per day (bpd), down from 2.26 million bpd during the same month in 2016, according to company data released on Friday.

Meanwhile, crude oil exports were down 3 percent in January compared to the year-ago period.

Shipments for the month averaged nearly 1.09 million bpd, compared to 1.12 million bpd exported in January 2016.

About half of Mexico’s crude exports currently go to the United States.

The Mexican government is in the midst of implementing a sweeping energy reform finalized in 2014 that ended the decades-long production monopoly enjoyed by Pemex, formally known as Petroleos Mexicanos.

The reform also paved the way for first-ever oil auctions open to private and foreign producers, four of which were concluded last year. While a range of oil companies won the blocks on offer, significant streams of new output are not expected for at least several years.

Mexico’s oil regulator, the administrator of the auctions, is expected to oversee three auctions covering a mix of shallow water and onshore fields, in addition to a deep water auction over the course of this year.

Mexican crude output has declined over the past dozen years from a peak of 3.4 million barrels per day in 2014.

The government expects crude production to average 1.94 million bpd this year, and between 1.9 million to 2.0 million bpd in 2018. (Reporting by David Alire Garcia; editing by David Gregorio)

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