Pemex to Award $5 Billion for 50 Offshore Oil Platforms

Petroleos Mexicanos, Latin America’s largest oil producer, plans to award contracts worth $5 billion in the next two years to build 50 platforms to boost output in the Bay of Campeche in the Gulf of Mexico.

The platforms will be used at developments such as Ayatsil and Tsimin, Carlos Morales, head of production and exploration at Pemex, said today in an interview in Buenos Aires. They may be built domestically, Morales said.

Potential domestic companies include billionaire Carlos Slim’s Carso Infraestructura & Construccion SAB, known as Cicsa, and Empresas ICA SAB, Mexico’s largest construction company, said Carlos Hermosillo, head of research with Grupo Financiero Banorte. Both companies have done similar projects for Pemex that don’t include drilling equipment, he said.

“These types of contracts are very profitable,” Hermosillo said today in a telephone interview from Mexico City. “It can represent a constant stream of revenue.”

He rates Cicsa a “hold” and ICA a “buy,” without owning shares in any of those companies.

Ayatsil and Tsimin are located in developments that contain a total of 622 million barrels of proved oil reserves, according to Mexico City-based Pemex’s estimates.

The platforms would be used for new and existing wells, Morales said. Some of the contracts would have to be approved by the company’s board, he said.

-- Editors: Robin Saponar, Robin Stringer