Pemex Makes Dry Gas Discoveries

Pemex has discovered three dry gas fields that could boost current reserves by 25%, general director Raul Munoz Leos said in a statement. The Lankahuasa, Playuela and Hap fields are located in Veracruz state, the Gulf of Mexico and in the Southwest sea region. Dry gas is not produced in association with crude oil.

Such big finds "happen once every 15 to 20 years," Munoz Leos said. "The estimated potential of these fields represents a bit more than one-quarter of our proven reserves of these resources," he added.

Pemex currently produces around 4.5 billion cubic feet a day of natural gas, of which less than a third is dry gas. Pemex seeks to increase output of both crude oil and gas by 2006. At current levels of investment, the company could raise crude output by 30% and gas production by 50% by 2006. This year, Pemex plans to boost crude oil production to 3.62 million barrels a day from 3.27 million b/d last December. Natural gas production is expected to rise to 4.7 billion cubic feet.