Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) will face its budgetary cuts of 100 billion pesos by sacrificing the exploration and exploitation of deepwater oil wells, as such activities become inviable with low rentability.
Sources close to the state-owned company told CAPITAL MEDIA that the cuts would be done specifically in deepwater wells, which require greater investments and generate benefits on the long term. This proposal will be discussed today, within the Administrative Council of Pemex.
Company personnelle detailed that anything not producing utilities will be excluded or suffer adjustments this year.
According to specialists, producing a barrel in deepwater has an average cost of 10 dollars, while in shallow wells the costs is of only 7, reducing margin for gain and making them “expendable”.
In case these reductions are confirmed, Pemex’s business plan will have to modified, as it contemplated drilling 32 exploratory wells until 2017.
According to information from Pemex in the Gulf of Mexico, there exist 55 billion barrels of equivalent crude oil, mostly in the zone of Cinturón de Plegado de Perdido.
However, exploring this type of deposits implies a multimillion cost, as the rent of each deepwater platform focused on waters of depths greater than 1,500 meters costs 500,000 thousand dollars per day.
For this type of activities, Pemex has until now four teams hired: Centenario, Bicentenario, West Pegasus and Muralla IV, which it rents for exploratory activities.
In 2015, the gas company’s estimated investment for projects gas and oil projects in deepwater was of 83 billion 922 million pesos (including sums exercised until 2014 and what was registered in the portfolio for later years), of which 17 billion 80 million pesos came from the 2015 federal budget allocation, according to data sent by Pemex to the National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH).
The same data indicates the amounts registered in the portfolio in 2015 rose to 17 billion 221 million, and it was expected to reach 21 billion 287 million in 2016, a goal that will now be cancelled.
“For Pemex, in this conjuncture, this would seem to be a unnecessary investment, because these exploratory wells do not produce and cutting these projects does no impact directly on public finance, as the government raises what it does put on sale”, explained to CAPITAL MEDIA Fernando Ramones, investigator of the Center for Economic and Budgetary Investigation (CIEP).
He added that reassigning what will no longer be invested in these types of explorations must be focused on urgent topics, such as payment of suppliers, restructuring debt and strengthening the downstream sector (refinement of crude oil, processing and purification of natural gas).