There were 150 new exploratory oil and gas wells offshore Latin America during the 12 months from July 2002 through July 2003, with Brazil leading the way with 101, according to survey numbers provided by IHS Energy. Mexico was second with 35, and Trinidad & Tobago next with seven.
Of Brazil's total, 78 were in water depths of 1,500 ft or greater, and two were in depths exceeding 9,000 ft. All of Mexico's exploration was in shallow water, and Trinidad & Tobago had two deepwater tests.
Although Petrobras drilled the majority of Brazil's exploratory wells, other participants included Agip, El Paso Energy, Kerr-McGee, Shell, and Total. Off Trinidad, BHP Billiton, BP, Shell, and Venture Production (Trinidad) Ltd. were active.