Mexican Energy Minister Ups Burgos Forecast

In just three years, the Burgos Basin in northern Mexico could be producing as much as 1.4 Bcf/d, which would add to the country's current production level of 4.6 Bcf/d, according to Mexico Energy Minister Ernesto Martens. Of the current total, about 970 MMcf/d already is produced in the massive dry gas basin.

Martens, who visited the basin recently, said Mexican government officials have been working overtime to improve the country's self sufficiency in natural gas, because the Energy Ministry estimates the total demand will reach 8.231 Bcf/d by 2008.

"In the short term, the Energy Ministry seeks to eliminate bottlenecks in surface infrastructure and improve understanding of fields in the Burgos Basin in order to maintain a constant rhythm of production through 2009," the ministry said in a statement Saturday.

Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) has completed a 15-year development plan for the Burgos Basin, which covers more than 21,000 square miles in the northeastern part of the country near Camargo. Earlier this year, President Vicente Fox indicated he wanted to use US$2 billion to explore more natural gas opportunities there.

A study completed by the U.S.-based Gas Technology Institute in January reported that the natural gas potential in the basin was similar to the geology of the Texas Gulf Coast region, and indicated reserves there could be three to 10 times higher than previously estimated. GTI found that previous estimates, which put the total undiscovered resource at 9.7 Tcf, might actually be between 21 Tcf and 75 Tcf (see NGI, Jan. 15). GTI found that the basin could reach a level of 2.3 Bcf/d by 2015.

The Burgos promise has not been lost on energy companies outside of Mexico. In March, BJ Services and Precision Drilling were awarded a major field development contract by Pemex for a project entailing drilling and completing 240 gas wells in the Burgos (see NGI, March 19).

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