Pemex to Invest US$1.2bn in Veracruz Gas Exploration

Mexico's state oil company Pemex plans to invest 13bn pesos (US$1.18bn) this year in natural gas exploration and production in Veracruz state, Pemex exploration and production director Luiz Ramirez Corzo said in a statement Thursday.

The investment is designed to boost production at new discoveries - including Playuela, Copite, Vistoso and Madera - where initial production is around 100 million cubic feet a day (mcf/d), Ramirez said.

Pemex has budgeted US$10bn-12bn annually for oil and gas exploration and production in the next few years, Ramirez said The company should be able to finance the work from its own operations without taking on more debt. Pemex needs to invest more in exploring new gas discoveries to substitute expensive gas imports, which reached an average of 760mcf/d in 2003, Ramirez added.

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