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CENTRO (dpa-AFX) - Mexico's state oil company Pemex has discovered a large onshore oil field according to its own information. It has an estimated initial crude oil volume of 500 to 600 million barrels, as Pemex general director Octavio Romero announced on Thursday at the drilling site in the southeastern state of Tabasco. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador was also present.

It is already the third discovery of a "giant field" that has been announced since the head of state took office in December 2018. However, none of the two first discovered deposits have produced significant amounts of oil, as analyst David Shields told the BNamericas portal. According to experts, the potential of the newly discovered field still has to be confirmed.

During the election campaign, López Obrador announced that he would break with the neoliberal policies of his predecessors and regain the country's "energy sovereignty". However, its energy policy is controversial. A reform initiated by him, which guarantees electricity from the state provider CFE preference over private providers and renewable energy sources, was most recently suspended following legal action.

"We are saving Pemex and we are saving the nation," said populist López Obrador at the event on Thursday. The anniversary of the nationalization of the Mexican oil industry through the expropriation of foreign corporations in 1938 was also celebrated.

Pemex is heavily indebted and posted a loss of a good 19 billion euros last year. The liabilities amount to around 113 billion US dollars (almost 95 billion euros). Last year, an average of 1.7 million barrels per day were produced. This year, according to Pemex, the target is around 2 million barrels a day./aso/DP/fba