Deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico has revealed reserves that could multiply Mexico's production of natural gas, the country's state oil company said Thursday.
Petroleos Mexicanos said the Nen 1 exploratory well found a deposit estimated to hold 400 billion cubic feet of gas. It said that could lead to production of 27 million cubic feet a day. This year's daily average is 6.64 billion cubic feet.
The company said the gas deposit is 14,270 feet (4,350 meters) feet deep, including 4,898 feet (1,493 meters) of water.
The well is 68 miles (113 kilometers) northeast of Coatzacoalcos in an area that doesn't yet have a pipeline to shore.
Because natural gas cannot be shipped like oil, Pemex would have to build a pipeline in order to develop the newly found gas. It's not yet clear if that would be profitable, said David Richardson, an analyst for the energy consulting firm Wood Mackenzie.
"It would be more significant if it was an oil discovery," Richardson said.
He said Pemex would need roughly four years to bring the new gas deposit into production.