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Pemex announces new gas pipeline project

Oilfield Technology,

Mexico’s oil giant Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) has confirmed that Gasoductos del Noreste has signed a contract for the construction of a new gas pipeline in northern Mexico.

In a statement, Pemex explained that the 25 year contract with Gasoductos del Noreste, a unit of Grupo Gasoductos de Chihuahua, covers natural gas transportation services for the "Ramones Fase I" project.

114 km natural gas pipeline

The 48 in. pipeline will start on the border with the US near Camargo, a city in Tamaulipas state, and stretch 114 km to Los Ramones, a city in Nuevo Leon state.

Opening the way for a substantial increase in natural gas transportation capacity in west-central Mexico, the pipeline will have an initial capacity of 1 billion ft3/d, with capacity increasing to 2.1 billion ft3/d in late 2015 as more compressor stations are added, Pemex said.

The pipeline is expected to begin operating in December 2014, and the second phase of the project will commence operation by the end of 2015.

Pemex privatisation

Pemex, which posted total revenues of US$ 131.75 billion and had assets of US$ 161.8 billion in 2012, is ranked fifth in the world in terms of oil production and accounts for around 40% of the Mexican Treasury's revenues.

In recent news, President Enrique Pena Nieto is looking to usher through a major revision of Mexican energy law that has the potential to turbo-charge the economy. The government is hoping to revise the energy law to allow foreign entities explore and produce oil and gas in association with the sprawling state-owned Pemex.

The central government finances a third of its expenses from oil revenues and Pemex provides work for 140 000 Mexicans.

Net importer of oil

However, Pemex’s crude oil production has seen a steady drop in the last decade, and the state’s demands for its revenues have left little capital available for exploration and production. Some analysts caution that Mexico might become a net importer of oil by 2020 if foreign companies remain prohibited from bringing in cash and expertise.

“If we look at other global successes, such as Petrobras in Brazil, Statoil in Norway or the case of Ecopetrol in Colombia, we see that none of them does everything alone like we ask Pemex to do,” said Ricardo Anaya, a National Action Party legislator.

14 billion barrels of crude reserves

Mexico sits atop nearly 14 billion bbls of proven crude reserves, much of it in deepwater in the Gulf of Mexico. According to the US Energy Information Administration, the country might possess the world’s sixth-largest reserves of shale gas.

Edited from various sources by Cecilia Rehn

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