Pemex turns to nitrogen for Chicontepec

News wires

Mexican state-run producer Pemex is planning to build nitrogen injection facilities in a bid to boost oil output in the Chicontepec basin.

Pemex has drilled over 650 wells in Chicontepec since 2002, hoping the basin could help offset expected declines at other fields, but has had little success in raising crude oil output due to the region’s highly complex geology.

The company plans to drill up to 1000 wells a year at Chicontepec over the next 15 years in an attempt to lift production from around 35,000 barrels per day to between 550,000 bpd and 600,000 bpd in 2021, a Reuters report said.

Geological studies show Chicontepec could hold more than 100 billion barrels of oil but low reservoir pressure, dense rock and small oil pockets mean wells drilled there produce little crude.

By injecting nitrogen Pemex hopes to boost reservoir pressure and improve recovery rates.

Analysts have questioned whether Pemex has the project management skills and technology to develop Chicontepec, which has been largely ignored since its discovery over 80 years ago.

But Pemex has few other options to compensate for huge declines in output expected at its main oilfields such as Cantarell, until hoped-for deep-water discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico can be brought into production sometime after 2020.

Tuesday, 09 December, 2008, 21:35 GMT | last updated: Wednesday, 10 December, 2008, 08:12 GMT



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