Pemex Continues String of Luck at Perdido

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October 5, 2012

  Bicentaria semisubmersible, which was used in the latest discovery, will now head to the Maximino 1 well to continue exploration. Image via PG Global

(Bloomberg) — Petroleos Mexicanos, the world’s fourth-largest crude producer, found a new ultra-deepwater field with about 200 million barrels of oil in the Gulf of Mexico, according to one person with knowledge of the nation’s second area discovery in five weeks.

Final tests at Supremus-1 well at the end of September confirmed crude reserves, said three people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential until the company known as Pemex makes an official announcement. The exploratory equipment used in Supremus is now being sent to a different project, one noted.

The well, which is about 9,500 feet (2,900 meters) deep, is part of Pemex’s $1.1 billion spending plan this year on deep- water exploratory projects. On Aug. 29, the company said it found oil at the Trion-1 exploration well, also located in the Perdido Basin, an area about 200 miles (320 kilometers) off the Texas coast that stretches across the U.S.-Mexican border.

Pemex, based in Mexico City, estimates it has 26.5 billion barrels of untapped crude in deep-water fields in the Gulf. About 10 billion barrels are from the Mexican side of Perdido.

Officials at Pemex’s press office, who can’t be named because of company policy, declined to comment. The company will hold an event tomorrow with President Felipe Calderon to make an announcement, the official said.

The Bicentenario exploratory deep-water rig used in Supremus is being sent to the Maximino 1 well, according to Pemex’s exploration plans. Maximino, which originally was scheduled for exploration in November 2010, is “the jewel in the crown of our deepwater projects — we have high expectations,” Jose Antonio Escalera, deputy director for technical exploration, told reporters last year.

Easing Pressure

The Perdido discoveries ease pressure on Pemex after the company failed to find commercially viable deep-water crude in its first 23 attempts.

Mexico’s state-owned company has invested almost $10 billion in exploration since 2009. Pemex is counting on deep- water Gulf of Mexico deposits to increase production by a third in the next dozen years.

Pemex may start developing the Perdido wells as soon as five years, Carlos Morales, head of exploration and production at the state oil company, said in an Aug. 29 interview. The Mexico City-based oil company is mulling partnering with Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe’s largest oil company, to ship the crude through facilities to U.S. refineries or installing a floating production system in the Mexican side, he said.

Pemex dollar-denominated perpetual bonds rose 0.10 cents to 106.19 cents per dollar, the highest since the bond was first sold. The yield on the bond issued Sept. 2010 fell 1 basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 6.197 percent.

-By Carlos Manuel Rodriguez. Copyright 2012 Bloomberg.
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