Mexico To Develop Deepwater Technology

Mexico is gearing up to develop technology to produce oil in deepwater offshore fields to offset a decline in output in mainland wells, the research arm of the nation's energy ministry said. "We are considering establishing the technology to exploit deep water to 6,500 feet," said Oscar Valle, manager of marine installations at the Mexican Petroleum Institute (IMP), whose main client is Pemex. Currently the deepest site in Mexico is producing oil from is 295 feet below sea level. "Our goal is to be ready to give technical support to Pemex to exploit these (deep water) fields in four years," Valle said.

While many foreign oil companies have the technology and know-how to produce oil in deep water, Mexico's constitution gives only Pemex the right to exploit the nation's oil. Pemex in February authorized the creation of a special research and development division in the IMP to work on deepwater production. Foreign companies have contracts with Pemex to drill for oil and gas and provide technical services but exploration and production of Mexico's hydrocarbon resources remains out of bounds to foreign oil majors.