Mexico's Pemex Looks to Rent 4 Offshore Drilling Platforms

MEXICO CITY (Dow Jones Newswires), August 21, 2008

Petroleos Mexicanos has launched a tender to lease four offshore platforms for the Gulf of Mexico as the company ramps up drilling activity, the company said Tuesday.

Pemex is seeking three rigs that can operate in waters at least 250 feet deep, and another rig that can drill in at least 300 feet of water. The company is also looking to rent a workover rig to do well repairs in the Gulf of Mexico.

In recent years Pemex has increased its investment budget and expanded its rig fleet in an effort to reverse declining oil production. Output at Mexico's most prolific field, Cantarell, fell by a third over the past year, forcing Pemex to drill in other areas where it is harder to get the oil out of the ground.

A well in Cantarell produces on average 6,000 barrels a day, while many new Pemex projects are in areas where wells only produce a few hundred barrels a day. This means Pemex must rapidly expand its drilling fleet just to halt a steady decline in oil output that began in 2004. 

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