MEXICO CITY - Mexican President Felipe Calderon said Wednesday that state-owned oil firm Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, has made its first big crude-oil discovery in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Mr. Calderon said the initial estimate of a deposit in the Perdido area on Mexico's side of the Gulf was between 250 million and 400 million barrels of light crude, using the industry's broadest measurement of "proven, probable and possible," or 3P, reserves.
Mr. Calderon said Mexico's Perdido complex of deposits could hold between four billion and 10 billion barrels of crude. He said Pemex is entering into a new phase of oil discovery in the Gulf, which could hold half of Mexico's total reserves.
Pemex reported proven hydrocarbon reserves of 13.8 billion barrels of oil equivalent as of Jan. 1, 2012. Its 3P reserves were 43.8 billion barrels of oil equivalent.
The state oil firm has seen its crude oil production fall to 2.5 million barrels a day from close to 3.4 million in 2004, largely as a result of the sharp decline in the Cantarell oilfields, which lie under shallow waters in the southern Gulf of Mexico.
Pemex sees the development of deep-water reserves, and of the deposits of the onshore Chicontepec basin as the key to raising its oil production in coming years.
Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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