If you want to know what is wrong with Mexico, you might start by looking at Pemex’s production figures for last year, which were published on Wednesday in a preliminary report and came in at just under 2011 levels, notching up an eighth straight year of declines.

No matter that Mexico is an oil-rich nation with vast, untapped reserves thought to lie in the Gulf. No matter that oil is currently at about $93 a barrel. The fact is that the country’s state oil monopoly simply isn’t cutting it.

It is true that Pemex, the world’s fourth-largest oil producer, has largely managed to halt the dramatic fall-off in production that began to occur in 2004, and the last two years have shown that production has more or less stabilised at around 2.55m barrels per day.

But it should be clear to even the most fervent supporter of a large state – there are still plenty of these in Mexico – that something has to change.

As a recent report by Mexico’s Itam University and the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, said, “the current system has shown itself to be unable to respond to changing circumstances and has left us on the brink of a disastrous decline in oil production and reserves”.

via Pemex: not cutting the mustard | beyondbrics.