* Mexico now sees Ku Maloob Zaap project peaking in 2013
* Peak output from KMZ seen at 927,000 bpd
By Robert Campbell
MEXICO CITY, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Mexico expects output from its Ku Maloob Zaap offshore heavy oil complex to continue to rise over the next three years as satellite deposits of crude are developed, according to a government report released on Monday.
Output from Ku Maloob Zaap (KMZ) should peak at 927,000 barrels per day in 2013, up from approximately 850,000 bpd at present, with the start-up of the Ayatsil and Pit satellite fields, Mexico’s energy ministry said in its annual forecast of crude oil production.
The government previously estimated KMZ would peak around 850,000 bpd but did not include Ayatsil or Pit as part of the project.
The latest forecast assumes output from the KMZ area will start to slowly decline in 2014.
As in previous forecasts the ministry expects oil production to rise from approximately 2.55 million bpd to more than 3 million bpd in the medium term although the projections rely heavily on new production from as-yet undiscovered fields.
Analysts have dismissed Mexican official oil production forecasts as unrealistic in recent years because of their optimistic view of decline rates at existing oil fields and heavy reliance on new discoveries.
Sliding Mexican oil production and limited political will for dealing with the problem, which threatens the long-term sustainability of government revenues, prompted two ratings agencies to downgrade Mexican debt in 2009.
The forecast also slashes the long-term view for output from the controversial Chicontepec project to 377,000 bpd by 2025.
The government had previously estimated Chicontepec, which was harshly criticized by regulators last year, could produce 737,000 bpd by 2017. Output at Chicontepec is currently 45,000 bpd. (Reporting by Robert Campbell; Editing by Marguerita Choy)