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Heading south

Outside Brazil, Latin American output is on its way down

After years of strong gains, Latin America’s oil production will slip by about 1%, or around 120,000 barrels a day in 2016. State oil companies, which account for the vast majority of production, piled on debt in the boom years, making the downturn painful. Capital spending will fall by around 25% this year, marking the second straight year of deep spending cuts. Those cuts are reflected in the plunging rig count, which has dropped by 40% since September 2014. Colombia and Mexico will lead production declines, while new pre-salt projects in Brazil will make it the only Latin American country that will see output rise. While Brazil’s oil industry is going through a corruption scandal and de

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