The success of Mexico’s state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos‘ (Pemex) investment plans relies on a strong oil price, Mexican Energy Minister and the company’s chairwoman Georgina Kessel told Bloomberg last week.

Pemex said that the prices, of between $70 and $75 a barrel, were enough to support projects in which it is investing in, with the break-even point at $60-$65 a barrel.

Pemex plans to invest $20bn a year for the next three years in deepwater exploration (500m below) and developing its Chicontepec project.

The company is weighed down by faster-than-expected decline in production at the company’s largest field, Cantarell, which could cost the government up to $23bn in lost sales this year as well as creating a budget deficit next year.

Pemex produced 8% less output during the first half of 2009 at 2.6 million barrels a day, and reduced its 2009 production forecasts to 2.65 million from 2.8 million barrels a day.

The company has drilled ten deepwater wells on its side of the Gulf of Mexico, plans to partner with companies such as Chevron, Exxon Mobil and Petrobras to develop deepwater projects in Mexico, which has about 30 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

The company plans to begin production of natural gas by 2013 and oil by 2015 from its deepwater projects, Bloomberg said.