Mexico’s state oil company Pemex said on Tuesday it had discovered six new deposits in the Gulf of Mexico, two of super light crude in deep waters, and four of light crude in shallow waters.
Pemex, which has been struggling with declining output for over a decade, also plans to drill 30 exploratory wells in 2017, it said in a statement.
A Pemex spokesman said the discoveries were a made couple of months ago, but were not announced immediately in order to quantify the reserves and guarantee their commercial viability.
Pemex said that in the oil-rich Cinturon Plegado de Perdido area, which is in deep waters in the Gulf of Mexico, it had already drilled the Nobilis-1 well, located 220 kilometers (137 miles) off the coast of the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, at a depth of 3,000 meters to the ocean floor, and a total depth of more than six kilometers.
The company said that in the two deep-water discoveries, the crude had a super light gravity of over 40 degrees API. Pemex said the two wells could eventually deliver 15,000 barrels per day, and could have proven, probable and possible (3P) reserves of between 140 million to 160 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe).
The company also announced it had discovered light crude and gas in the Teca-1 well, located 30 kilometers off the Gulf coast at 44 meters below the surface. It estimated 3P reserves were between 50 million to 60 million boe.
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Pemex, which has enacted major spending cuts due to the collapse in the oil price, said it would focus the majority of its investments toward areas where it thinks it has the highest probability of discovering crude.
Pemex estimates its average production will be 1.9 million barrels per day in 2017, its lowest level since 1980, as a result of the spending cuts.
(Reporting by Ana Isabel Martinez; Editing by Marguerita Choy)