MEXICO CITY - Mexico's state-owned oil company Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, said Tuesday that it had discovered as much as two billion cubic feet of natural gas reserves in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Pemex said that the Kunah-1 well at a water depth of 2,157 meters was the firm's most productive well in deep waters during exploratory tests. The well allowed Pemex to identify five wet gas deposits at different drilling levels.
The find at Kunah-1, located 125 kilometers northeast of the port of Veracruz, has allowed the oil monopoly to estimate that it can certify reserves between 1.5 trillion and two trillion cubic feet of gas using the proven, possible and probable, or 3P, measurement of reserves.
The discovery builds on production opportunities in the Catemaco belt that are equivalent to between 300 million and 400 million barrels of crude oil, and about 10% of which is crude oil, the company said.
The five fields discovered had depths between 2,845 and 4,103 meters and had superior temperatures and pressures than had been expected, the oil firm said. Production tests reached 34 million cubic feet a day of wet gas, and 110 barrels of liquids, Pemex said.
The oil firm is expanding its exploratory activity in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, where it currently has no production. In the past, Pemex has focused mostly on the shallow waters of the Gulf, where its top producing fields are located. The mature Cantarell field has been declining for about seven years, and the Ku-Maloob-Zaap complex has been unable to make up for Cantarell's decline.
Pemex produced 2.538 million barrels of oil a day on average in June, according to preliminary figures on the company's website. At its peak in 2004, Pemex produced about 3.4 million barrels of oil per day.
Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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