Pemex seeking new resources in deepwater

Pemex is accelerating its deepwater exploration and production strategy, with the objective of reversing Mexico's declining production, explained Carlos Morales, general director of Pemex E&P, today at OTC.

Offshore staff

HOUSTON -- Pemex is accelerating its deepwater exploration and production strategy, with the objective of reversing Mexico's declining production, explained Carlos Morales, general director of Pemex E&P, today at OTC.

Currently, two deepwater rigs are working offshore Mexico, with a total of five expected by 2012, Morales said. Three of the rigs will be capable of drilling in up 10,000 ft (3,048 m) of water.

Mexico's flagship oilfield, Cantarell, peaked in 2004 and has been rapidly declining since then. Pemex is confident it can sustain its target production output of about 3.4 MMbbl/d, through an accelerated deepwater exploration and production program, and with the help of IOCs, NOCs, and service companies, Morales said.

"We have not gone into deepwater because we have huge reserves onshore and in shallow water. The issue is in the last 30 years, Mexico depended heavily on the Cantarell field. We slowed down our exploration and that was not the correct strategy. We want to get into this (deepwater) new exploration frontier very fast and efficiently."

Pemex estimates that Mexico holds potential resources of about 52 Bboe, 57% are in deepwater, Morales said. The company has acquired 2D seismic in deepwater and plans to continue its 47,000-sq km (18,146-sq mi) acquisition program over the next three years. Pemex has identified 1,700 exploration targets (90% are onshore or in shallow water) in Mexico, Morales said. In deepwater, Pemex has identified five geological trends over 500 sq km (193 sq mi) in 500 m (1,640 ft) water depth or greater.

Pemex has drilled eight deepwater wells offshore Mexico since 2003, with marginal success. Its first deepwater discovery was in 2004.

5/6/2009

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