Mexican state oil company Pemex’s E&P subsidiary PEP will spend US$1bn in 2012 for the exploration of the Perdido fold belt in the Gulf of Mexico near the US border, PEP’s CEO Carlos Morales told reporters in a seminar in Mexico City.
The amount includes the drilling of three wells in the area, in addition to costs associated with delimitation of the field. First production from Perdido is expected some five years after hydrocarbons are discovered.
The area contains 3Bboe of prospective hydrocarbons resources, Morales said. In the entire Mexican deepwater Gulf of Mexico, Pemex believes it has 29.5Bboe prospective resources. It represents the company’s long-term hope for sustaining production, which has been falling since 2004 due to the natural decline of the giant Cantarell field and a lack of exploration.
Hydrocarbons that are produced would likely cross the maritime border into US waters to utilize existing infrastructure.
The company was expected to begin drilling of Perdido in 2011, but delayed arrival of the Bicentenario semi-submersible rig and concerns prompted by last year’s Deepwater Horizon spill pushed back the start of exploration.
Bicentenario began drilling its first well, Talipau-1, in 940m water depth in mid-2011 and will subsequently move to Perdido. The NOC awarded the five-year rental contract in 2007 to consortium Industrial Perforadora de Campeche and Grupo R Exploración Marina (Gremsa).
Pemex could also drill Perdido using the West Pegasus semi-submersible rig, previously known as Sea Dragon. The contract for the rig, signed with offshore driller Seadrill for a five-year term, also began this year.
Upstream regulator CNH’s commissioner Edgar Rangel told reporters in August that it planned to evaluate the Perdido area in the following months for potential approval.
By David Biller (Business News Americas)
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