Despite the fact that the Mexican government said that they would not invest in unprofitable activities such as the exploitation of hydrocarbons in deep waters, the president of the state oil company admitted that the new price environment forces them to do so.

Despite the presidential commitment not to invest in unprofitable activities such as the exploitation of hydrocarbons in deep waters, Octavio Romero Oropeza, general director of Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex), reconsidered and together with the Mexican Government admitted that the new price environment forces them even to a public-private association with New York’s New Fortress Energy, for an investment of US$ 1,500 million in the Lakach field, whose natural gas production will begin in a year, according to the manager.

Lakach is a deposit with resources of up to 900,000 million cubic feet of natural gas, which is a thousand meters from the water depth in the Gulf of Mexico, explained Romero Oropeza at the opening of the civil works facilities of the Olmeca refinery in Dos Bocas, Tabasco. US$ 1,400 million have been invested there that Pemex could not throw away, so the good news is that the company returns to deep waters and in July 2023 it will have the first gas production from this field.

Although it should be remembered that the other association that Pemex has in deep waters is with the Australian company BHP Billiton in the Trión oil field, whose contract was awarded through a farmout-type tender conducted by the National Hydrocarbons Commission in 2016. Until now, the forecasts The most optimistic of both partners in their development plans is to extract the first commercial barrel of crude oil from this field in 2023, eight years after the signing of the contract.

Although the development of a deepwater field can take an average of 10 years in the international industry, according to energy analyst Arturo Carranza, Lakach is one of the deepwater fields where more geological work has been carried out to mitigate doubts. regarding its potential. It should also be remembered that in the past engineering, procurement and construction work was carried out linked to the development of the necessary infrastructure to bring production from this field to land.

“Based on these two elements – knowledge of the field and infrastructure development – ​​it is reasonable to assume that Lakach’s natural gas production can be brought to consumption centers in a relatively short time,” the expert considered.

“Now that the situation of the natural gas market in Mexico is marked by the volatility in hydrocarbon prices and by the high dependence on supply from the United States, it is understood that Pemex seeks to relaunch it,” Carranza said.

In May, the price of natural gas in Mexico, which is taken from the Henry Hub market benchmark in the United States, reached US$8.14 per thousand British thermal units (BTUs).

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