Petroleos Mexicanos, the world’s fourth-largest oil producer, discovered a crude deposit in Tabasco state, estimating it may find as much as 1 billion barrels of reserves in the area as it expands drilling.
The light-crude deposit announced yesterday in the on-shore Navegante 1 well, with a depth of 6 kilometers (3.7 miles), may have as much as 500 million barrels, said a press official who asked not to be named because of company policy. Pemex, based in Mexico City, will expand exploration to the south of Navegante aiming to double the potential reserves of the province, the official said yesterday in a phone interview.
The state-run company has invested almost $10 billion in exploration since 2009. Navegante is Mexico’s most important solid-ground discovery in the past decade, President Felipe Calderon said yesterday in a speech in Veracruz state. It’s the company’s third major find in past months, following two deep-water deposits in the Gulf of Mexico, where it estimates 26.5 billion barrels of untapped crude.
“Pemex has steered itself toward investments in exploration, and it’s showing results,” Calderon said, according to a transcript distributed by the president’s office.
Before Navegante, Pemex found 200 million barrels of light oil at its ultra-deep Trion-1 well in the Gulf of Mexico in August and about 125 million barrels at the nearby Supremus-1 well in October. Pemex hadn’t found any commercially viable deep-water oil in its previous 22 attempts.
Adding to the crude discoveries, the state oil producer said last month that it found shale gas in wells in the Mexican side of the Eagle Ford region. Pemex plans to offer a round of contracts next year to start developing its shale gas reserves.
Pemex would need to invest as much as $35 billion a year to develop all of the nation’s production opportunities, including those in so-called deep waters and shale gas fields, Chief Executive Officer Juan Jose Suarez Coppel said in a Sept. 17 interview. That’s 54 percent more than the $22.7 billion granted by Congress this year for Pemex’s investments.