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Mexico Ramping Up Oil Exports To China, India

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Mexico is pushing to double crude oil exports to China next year and boost India-bound shipments, the next stage of a long-term plan to diversify oil sales away from an increasingly energy-independent United States.

Mexico is also open to importing light crude supplies from the United States, the country's top oil trade executive said in an interview, a sign that the world's No. 10 oil producer may be ready to give up decades of total crude oil self-sufficiency in order to take advantage of a growing glut of U.S. shale oil.

"We expect to market increasing volumes of our crudes" to both China and India, said Luis Felipe Luna, CEO of P.M.I. Comercio Internacional, the international oil trading arm of Mexico's state oil monopoly Pemex.

Crude oil shipments to China, which have risen from zero in 2010 to more than 20,000 bpd so far this year, will reach a yearly average of 30,000 barrels per day (bpd) but could more than double in 2014, said Luna.

Exports to India already stand at nearly 100,000 bpd but are likely to increase in the short and medium term, he said in a rare interview this week. In total, Asia could be taking as much as a fifth of Mexico's 1.1 million bpd of exports.

The United States is still by far Mexico's largest oil export partner, but shipments have halved since 2006 to less than 850,000 bpd this year, according to US government data, the lowest rate in two decades due to both declining Mexican production and rising US output.


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