Pemex makes deep-water gas discovery in Gulf

By Carlos Manuel Rodriguez
Bloomberg News

Petroleos Mexicanos, Latin America’s largest oil producer, said it discovered natural gas in deep waters in the Gulf of Mexico.

Pemex, as Mexico’s state-owned company is known, said its Piklis-1 well holds about 400 billion to 600 billion cubic feet of natural gas, according to an e-mailed statement today. At 6,326 feet, Piklis is the Mexico City-based company’s deepest exploration project and is located 89 miles northwest from Coatzacoalcos port.

Pemex has found mostly gas in the 10 deep-water wells it successfully explored since 2004, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News. The Mexico City-based company hasn’t yet developed plans to exploit the deposits, which could boost gas reserves by almost 1 trillion cubic feet, as it focuses on crude production amid low natural-gas prices.

Carlos Morales, Pemex’s head of production and exploration, said last month that plans to develop gas discoveries will depend on the U.S. gas futures market.

Natural-gas futures in New York averaged $4.20 per million British thermal units in the first quarter, a 16 percent drop from a year earlier, as new wells from Wyoming to Pennsylvania created excess supply in the North American market. Natural gas for June delivery was little changed $4.345 per million British thermal units at 9:15 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange.