234. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Anderson) to the President1


  • Oil Production in Mexico

At yesterday’s Council meeting, I was astonished to learn that someone had given you an estimate that oil production in the Republic of Mexico could be increased by a million barrels a day—presumably within a period of time that would have a bearing upon the Middle East crisis. From some knowledge of the subject, I felt certain that these figures were so far out of line as to be almost ridiculous, and I mentioned this fact to Arthur Flemming after the meeting. I told him I believed we could obtain an accurate estimate on the subject very promptly from DeGolyer, an outstanding world authority on oil reserves, with a unique knowledge about Mexican reserves and production potentials. He asked me to call DeGolyer and get his views, which I did. The facts according to DeGolyer are:

The total present production in Mexico is around 250,000 barrels per day.
Existing wells wide open would probably not produce more than an additional return of 250,000 barrels per day at the outside.
The more probable limit on the increase now possible would be an additional 100,000 barrels, and this for only a short period of time.
There are no known undeveloped fields which even with additional drilling show promise of more than doubling Mexico’s present potential, and this would take years.2

Dillon Anderson
  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Administration Series, Anderson, Dillon. Secret.
  2. A handwritten note on the source text indicates that Anderson showed this memorandum to the President on August 10.