Carlos Navarro

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In late May, the state-run oil company PEMEX announced the discovery of what it considers a "significant" reserve of natural gas in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. While the size of the reserve was impressive, some analysts pointed out that low prices, high extraction costs, and an uncertain global market for natural gas take some of the luster off the discovery.The natural gas was discovered while PEMEX was exploring for new supplies of crude oil at the Piklis-1 well, which, at a depth of 5.4 km, is the deepest that PEMEX has drilled to date. The reserve appears to contain between 400 and 600 billion cubic feet of gas. In announcing the discovery, Carlos Morales Gil, director of the PEMEX subsidiary Pemex Exploración y Producción (PEP), said the new find, when added to proven reserves in the nearby Lakach field, would greatly increase the PEMEX reserves. By some estimates, recent discoveries could boost PEMEX deposits by almost 1 trillion cubic feet. "Surely, we can produce 700 to 800 million cubic feet of gas per day from this zone," Morales told reporters.The Piklis-1 well is in a zone known as Cordilleras Mexicanas, about 144 km northwest of the port of Coatzacoalcos in Veracruz state.