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Pemex Requests Deep-Water Studies

Pemex has asked Mexico's energy ministry for permission to conduct seismic research in deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico...

Pemex has asked Mexico's energy ministry for permission to conduct seismic research in deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, which includes the Perdido belt.

The request calls for seismic research in 514,370 square kilometres of the Gulf of Mexico, including the Perdido belt where oil companies plan to start oil production on the US side in 2010.

Mexico's slow start with deep-water oil operations has become a topic of debate as lawmakers mull an energy reform bill that calls for more private investment in the industry, said Dow Jones Newswires.

Pemex says there are at least two oil fields that straddle the border in the Perdido area, and that oil and natural gas could flow to US wells unless Pemex starts to drill on its side of the border.

These fields are under over 8000 feet of water.

Pemex does not have the equipment or experience to drill in waters deeper than 3000 feet, said the news agency.

The Reforma newspaper reported today that the foreign ministry had sent a letter to the US government to initiate negotiations on how to develop cross-border oil fields.