Pemex ready to invest in deepwater Gulf with new partners

Mexican oil giant Pemex is ready to invest in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico again now that it’s relying on financial partners for the first time ever.

With the offshore oil industry floundering throughout much of the world, state-owned Petróleos Mexicanos, called Pemex, wants to make the languishing deepwater Gulf of Mexico great again.

But it can only do so through farm-out partnerships now that Mexico’s energy reforms to undo Pemex’s nationwide monopoly continue to advance, said Pemex CEO José Antonio González Anaya, while speaking Wednesday at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston.

“We could not finance it on our own,” González Anaya said. “We did not have the technology to do it on our own.”

Pemex signed its first such partnership in March with Australia-based BHP Billiton to develop the Trion field in the southern Gulf of Mexico. Pemex will only own 40 percent of the project.

The energy reforms came just as the two-year oil bust arrived, leading to the Mexican government slashing Pemex’s budget by nearly 50 percent over the last three years, including a $5.5 billion cut last year.