MEXICO CITY – State-owned Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), US-based supermajor Chevron, and Japan’s INPEX on Tuesday formed a joint venture to explore for oil in deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Last December, the three firms secured the concession for Block 3 North in the fourth tender of Round 1 of Mexico’s first oil auction since a 2013 energy sector overhaul ended Pemex’s 75-year-old monopoly.
Chevron is the leader of the consortium.
Pemex is following international best practices to develop deepwater oil reserves, CEO Jose Antonio Gonzalez Anaya said at Tuesday’s signing ceremony.
The plan calls for investing roughly 100 million pesos ($5 million) over the next four years to determine the potential of the block, the Pemex chief said.
“The execution of this contract represents an important milestone in our ongoing, strategic partnership with Pemex, INPEX and Mexico,” Ali Moshiri, president of Chevron Africa and Latin America Exploration and Production, said during the event in Mexico City.
Block 3 North lies some 117 kilometers (45 miles) off the coast of the northeastern state of Tamaulipas in waters of depths ranging from 500 to 1,700 meters (1,640 to 5,575 ft.).
The government is looking to the energy overhaul to attract tens of billions of dollars in investment and reverse a roughly 30 percent decline in Mexico’s oil output, which peaked at 3.38 million barrels per day in 2004 and currently stands at less than 2.3 million bpd.