MEXICO: Oil Prospects

The nation's oil gauge was dangerously close to the red line. Jorge L. Cumming, exploration chief for Pemex (Mexico's government-owned oil monopoly), estimated last week that 1948 crude production of 53.7 million barrels would top consumption by only a skimpy 2,000,000 barrels. (The 1947 production of 56,255,370 barrels, highest in 20 years, was due to the kind of forced pumping that runs wells dry.) By 1950, Cumming thought, output was likely to be 7,500,000 barrels below the red line of domestic needs.

Pemex's prescription: a multi-million dollar well-drilling program to tap new fields. If the wells come in, the home...

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