Petroleos Mexicanos, the world’s fourth-largest crude producer, found oil at its Supremus-1 exploration well in the Gulf of Mexico, said three people with knowledge of the nation’s second ultra-deepwater discovery in five weeks.
The Supremus field may hold about 200 million barrels of crude, said an official with the company known as Pemex. Final tests at Supremus at the end of September confirmed crude reserves, according to the three people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential until Pemex makes an official announcement.
The well, which is about 9,500 feet (2,900 meters) deep, is part of Pemex’s $1.1 billion spending plan this year on deep-water exploratory projects. On Aug. 29, the company said it found oil at the Trion-1 exploration well, also located in the Perdido Basin, an area about 200 miles (320 kilometers) off the Texas coast that stretches across the U.S.-Mexican border.
Pemex, based in Mexico City, estimates it has 26.5 billion barrels of untapped crude in deep-water fields in the Gulf, with about 10 billion barrels coming from the Mexican side of Perdido.
‘Jewel in the Crown’
The Bicentenario exploratory deep-water rig used in Supremus is being sent to the Maximino 1 well, according to Pemex’s exploration plans. Maximino, which originally was scheduled for exploration in November 2010, is “the jewel in the crown of our deepwater projects -- we have high expectations,” Jose Antonio Escalera, deputy director for technical exploration, told reporters last year.
The Perdido discoveries ease pressure on Pemex after the company failed to find commercially viable deep-water crude in its first 23 attempts.
Mexico’s state-owned company has invested almost $10 billion in exploration since 2009. Pemex is counting on deep-water Gulf of Mexico deposits to increase production by a third in the next dozen years.