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Pemex to increase offshore drilling this year with more rigs

BY LAURENCE ILIFF

MEXICO CITY -- The new CEO of Petroleos Mexicanos, said that the company is embarking on its most ambitious drilling program in decades and plans to operate the biggest fleet of jack-up rigs and modular rigs in the world.

Emilio Lozoya, who was appointed by President Enrique Pena Nieto in November, said during a trip to Singapore shipyards that Pemex is securing a dedicated fleet of shallow-water drilling platforms to guarantee availability and competitive pricing, the company said in a statement. Mr. Lozoya said the company expects that eight to 12 new jack-up rigs and nine modular rigs will be built to meet the company' s drilling plans, and that Pemex will use long-term leasing contracts to secure their availability.

Pemex said that Mr. Lozoya visited the yards of Singapore' s Keppel, which recently won an approximately $500 million contract to build two self-elevating rigs. Pemex will operate the rigs under a 10-year lease agreement with Citigroup unit Banamex. The rigs are expected to be delivered in the first half of 2015. During this year Pemex' s production and exploration division is currently operating 36 jack-up rigs and 26 modular rigs. It also is operating five semisubmersible rigs that are used in deeper waters, Pemex said.

In 2012, Pemex produced an average of 2.548 MMbopd, with about 1.9 MMbopd coming from its shallow-water offshore operations. Pemex is exploring for oil in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, but has no production there. Pemex' s results for 2012 marked eight years of falling oil production from its peak of about 3.4 MMbopd on average in 2004. Since 2009, the company' s oil production has essentially stabilized, falling less than 1% per year. Higher prices for export crude-oil in recent years have allowed Pemex to meet its funding commitments to the federal government.

Dow Jones Newswires

01/31/2013

 

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