Mexico finds huge oil deposits in deep water Gulf

Houston Chronicle:
After more than a dozen attempts, Mexico’s national petroleum monopoly has struck significant oil very near the U.S. boundary in the ultra-deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, President Felipe Calderon said Wednesday.

“This is a great discovery,” Calderon said in announcing the find by Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, beneath more than 8,300 feet of water and miles of earth, the first successful well in a system that he said ultimately may hold as much as 10 billion barrels of oil.

“It will further strengthen our petroleum reserves and will permit Mexico to maintain and increase petroleum production in the medium and long term.”

Pemex has been scrambling in recent years to replace the sharp production declines in the Cantarell offshore field at the foot of the Gulf. Earlier deep water attempts have either produced dry wells or natural gas that’s uneconomical to exploit at current prices.

Pemex estimates that its Gulf reserves may hold as much as 27 billion barrels of petroleum.

The new discovery lies in the so-called Perdido belt of the Gulf, just 24 miles from the U.S. boundary and about 110 miles offshore of Mexico’s northeastern coast. Calderon said Wednesday the initial estimate of a deposit in the Perdido area on Mexico’s side of the Gulf was between 250 and 400 million barrels.

A partnership headed by Shell Oil, Chevron and British Petroleum has been producing about 100,000 barrels a day from three fields in U.S. territory about 30 miles north of the new Pemex discovery. The companies began producing from their Perdido wells in March 2010, after three years of exploration and development of the field.
Mexico's declining production has been a concern of late so this is a good deal for them and the US, their biggest customer.  One of the reasons for their decline has been their reluctance to partner with people who have the expertise to find and produce oil in difficult areas.  It is also evidence of teh damage Obama has done to our own efforts with his moratoriums and delaying regulations.


  1. After discussing the decline in Mexico's oil production being partly due to the reluctance of PEMEX to partner with more experienced international oil companies, your last sentence says the following:

    "It is also evidence of the damage Obama has done to our own efforts with his moratoriums and delaying regulations."

    Even though I strongly disagreed with Obama's way too lengthy GoM drilling moratorium, I still do not believe that his policies are in any way connected to, or caused by the Mexican oil situation, which you say provides the "evidence" against Obama. I'm afraid I don't follow your reasoning.

    And in fairness to PEMEX, their reluctance to engage with American companies in oil exploration may have little to do with the politics of their executives, and almost everything to do with the very tight restrictions on all foreign involvement in Mexican natural resources (like oil), as imposed by Mexico's own Federal Constitution.

    And just to put this new discovery in perspective, the oil estimates I've heard so far are 350 to 400 million barrels. While that's a very nice addition to any reserve portfolio and obviously worth billions of dollars, this is still only enough oil to keep our modern world running at its present rate for about 5 days. The world now uses over 80 million barrels of oil a day, every day of the year. A sobering statistic to say the least.


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