MEXICAN state operator Pemex has called a temporary halt to its ultra-deepwater Gulf of Mexico wildcat exploration well, Maximino-1.
Juan Carlos Zepeda, director of Mexico’s new Comision Nacional de Hidrocarburos (CNH), said that both the Maximino-1 exploration well, which was to be drilled in some 2,891m of water, and another probe known as Pep-1, to be drilled in 2,940m of water, had been put back to next year.
Zepeda said the primary reason for the postponement of drilling was the government’s concern about deepwater drilling after BP’s Macondo disaster in the US sector of the GoM. But he said Pemex would still be pushing ahead with the drilling of the Tulipau-1, a less challenging prospect, prior to the Maximino-1 and Pep-1 – which would, together, if drilled, rank as the deepest wells ever drilled by the Mexican national oil company.
It has a new semi-submersible drilling rig on order, the Petrorig III, which is capable of ultra-deepwater operations. It is due for delivery during Q4 this year.
Zepeda said: “It will give us the correct timing for finishing working with Pemex on its review of internal regulation and, in case it is necessary on top of that, regulation for exploration and production.”