In Deepwater: Pemex Looks for Help from Foreign Oil Companies

Pemex is planning on foreign oil companies to extensively contribute to Mexico's deepwater drilling program, Pemex chief executive Jesus Reyes Heroles told Dow Jones.

Once rigs are secured in 2010, the company plans to drill eight to 10 wells a year in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

"Our strategy envisions the possibility to have other companies do the exploration," Reyes Heroles said at a recent industry conference. "We'd like to see Pemex's program duplicated with activity starting in 2010."

Mexico is planning on making a major push to bolster reserves because the country's petroleum exports have been rapidly declining. Despite the current low price per barrel, Pemex is staying firm on its exploration and production investments.

By Mexican law, outside oil companies can only work for Pemex as contractors because foreign companies cannot own or sell Mexican petroleum. Nevertheless, Pemex is planning to offer new contracts with monetary incentives for project successes.