Pemex reserves overestimated

April 18, 2005 at 8:41 PM

MEXICO CITY, April 18 (UPI) -- The potential for oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico has been overestimated by Mexico´s state-run oil monopoly, El Universal reported Monday.

According to Petroleos Mexicanos, known as Pemex, terrain in waters deeper than 9,800 feet in the Gulf of Mexico -- an area known as the Abyssal Plain -- were "not suitable for oil exploration."

Guillermo Perez Cruz, head of Pemex's Special Unit for Deep Water Oil Exploration, said the new report cut previous oil estimates in the area by 53 percent.

Pemex initially planned to drill a possible 54 billion barrels from the plain. With that figure now cut in half, Perez Cruz sod, exploration becomes economically unviable.

Pemex head Luis Ramirez Corzo recently said the monopoly was "on the verge of bankruptcy" with total liabilities of $88.5 billion and $10 billion needed annually in investment.

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