Mexican Oil; The Most Important Fields

Mexico is the sixth largest oil producer in the world and the tenth in terms of net exports in 2007. The main oil and natural gas fields in Mexico are located within the marine and southeast regions, where oil and natural gas are present in the same subterranean formations. For this reason, the main source of natural gas is the associated gas extracted simultaneously with oil. The oil industry is crucial for Mexico’s economy, the income derived from oil constitute more than 10% of exports. Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) estimates ten more years of life for the oil fields currently being exploited.

The oil production in Mexico is declining, towards the end of 2008 the production is 2 million 912 thousand barrels a day and for the next years, the drop in production is estimated to be 162,000 barrels a day.

Cantarell Complex

Cantarell oil field was discovered by fisherman Rudesindo Cantarell in 1976, it is located 80 kilometers from the coast, in the Bay of Campeche. This reserve was formed during the Cetacean era, from the impact of the asteroid that created Crater Chicxulub. This complex is constituted by the fields Nohoch, Chac, Akal, Kutz, Ixtoc and Sihil. This field was discovered in 1976, from 1979 when its exploitation began until 1006, it has produced 11,492 million barrels of oil and 4,691 billion cubic feet of natural gas. This complex is a city in the sea with all the same services as on land and has a total of 190 oil wells. Its production during 2003 placed it as the second quickest producer, only behind Ghawar Field in Saudi Arabia. The production of Cantarell could decrease from 2 million barrels per day in 2003 to around 600 thousand barrels in 2009. This rapid decline is the result of better extraction techniques, which become faster at the expense of the oil field’s longevity. Cantarell Complex produces two thirds of Mexico’s oil.

Chicontepec Complex

Also known as Paleocanal Chicontepec, it is an oil field in the state of Veracruz. The Paleocanal was discovered in 1926 and has a surface of three thousand 815 square kilometers. From 1952 to 2002, 951 oil wells were perforated and it currently operates 102, with a production of six thousand 800 barrels per day of oil and 15 million cubic feet of gas daily.

Ku-Maloob-Zaap

PEMEX Exploration and Production will develop, over the next eight years, Project Ku-Maloob-Zaap, in the Campeche Sound. Active Zu-Maloob-Zaap is approximately 105 kilometers from Ciudad del Carmen, in front of the states of Tabasco and Campeche. PEMEX contemplates the perforation of 82 oil wells, installation of 17 platforms and the construction of 32 ducts. It is estimated that in the year 2011 the development of Project Ku-Maloob-Zaap will reach its production maximum of Maya crude, by contributing a total of 800 thousand barrels per day, a number contrasting with the 263 thousand barrels per day currently being extracted.

Artículo Producido por el Equipo Editorial Explorando México.
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Foto: Pemex.com