OTC: Pemex hones deepwater gulf exploration plan

Carlos Morales Gil, Pemex E&P general director, said Pemex is formulating a plan to ramp up exploration in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico and involve IOCs and NOCs in the process.

Alan Petzet
Chief Editor-Exploration

HOUSTON, May 6 -- Carlos Morales Gil, Pemex Exploration & Production general director, said Pemex is formulating a plan to ramp up exploration in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico and involve international and national oil companies in the process.

Without discussing specifics, Morales Gil said deepwater participation contracts will be written by mid-2009 that will allow IOCs, NOCs, and service companies to engage in technological collaboration with Pemex and generate value for all involved. Reserves will still belong to Mexico, he noted.

Pemex will put projects out for bids in late summer and award contracts in late 2009 or early 2010, he estimated May 6 at a breakfast at the 2009 Offshore Technology Conference in Houston.

Overall, Pemex has identified 1,703 exploration opportunities, and 93% of them are onshore or in shallow water, Morales Gil said.

Pemex has identified seismic amplitude anomalies in five deepwater areas. From north to south along the coastal bend, they are called the Subsalt belt, Perdido fold belt, Mexican Ridges, Gulf Salt Province, and off Veracruz the Catemaco fold belt.

South of large oil fields on the US side of Perdido, Pemex has "identified structures that might be transborder resources," he said. And it plans to shoot wide azimuth seismic to obtain better images in the Catemaco nonassociated gas province.

Pemex has shot extensive 3D and 2D seismic and drilled eight wells in its Gulf of Mexico deepwater basins in 2000-08, discovering two nonassociated gas fields and two extra-heavy oil fields. One of the gas fields, Lakach, is Mexico's fourth largest, he said.

Deepwater exploratory drilling is to expand northward from Cantarell, and five rigs are to be working by 2012.

Contact Alan Petzet at alanp@ogjonline.com.

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