Mexico’s Petroleos Mexicanos’ (Pemex) exploration and production (E&P) unit has awarded contracts with a total value of more than $350 million to Empeiria Acquisition Corp. and subsidiary Integrated Drilling Equipment Co. Holdings (IDE) to build four 3000HP AC modular platform rigs, Houston-based Empeiria said Monday.

The first unit is scheduled to be delivered in 3Q2014 and the additional units by December 2014. Specifications for the rigs were developed through collaboration of the IDE and Pemex teams.

Deployments of the drilling packages will be key steps toward Pemex’s development of the Tekel, Ayastil, Xux and Tsimin fields in the Bay of Campeche, according to Empeiria.

Last July, Pemex said a well drilled in Mexico’s deepwater Gulf of Mexico (GOM) Catemaco Fold Belt appeared to confirm five natural gas deposits that together total proven, possible and probable reserves of 1.5-2 Tcf (see Daily GPI, July 6, 2012). The discovery would be the most productive in the deepwater for Pemex to date, officials said at the time.

In August, Pemex struck oil in its first deepwater discovery in the GOM’s Perdido Fold Belt near the Mexico-U.S. maritime boundary (see Daily GPI, Aug. 31, 2012). The Trion I discovery well, drilled in 8,250 feet of water about 24 miles south of the maritime boundary, contains an estimated 250-400 million bbl of proven, probable and possible (3P) reserves. The strike followed 22 attempts by Pemex in the deepwater that found no oil or gas.

Six weeks later, Pemex struck another big gusher offshore the Mexican state of Tamaulipas in 9,513 feet of water (see Daily GPI, Oct. 9, 2012). The Supremus 1 well, drilled 3,609 feet below the seafloor, may contain 3P reserves of 75-125 million bbl of oil, according to Pemex.

BP plc has said it plans to share technical information used to build its deepwater well-capping equipment with Pemex’s E&P unit (see Daily GPI, Oct. 24, 2012). Under the technology license agreement, BP would make available technical information that Pemex E&P may use, in addition to initiatives already in place, if it decides to build and maintain a well-capping system for use in the GOM’s Mexican waters.

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