MEXICO CITY, March 18 (Xinhua) -- The Mexican government plans to develop 20 new oil exploration and production fields in the Gulf of Mexico this year, the state-run Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) said on Monday.
During a press conference, the Pemex General Director Octavio Romero said that 16 of these fields are in shallow water along the coastline of the states of Tabasco and Campeche. Others are on land in the southeast area of the country -- three in Tabasco and one in Veracruz.
The expectation is that by the end of the year, the fields will be retrieving the first barrels of oil, and by the first part of 2020, the work will ramp up, Romero said.
The company also plans to build 13 new production platforms, 14 submarine pipelines measuring up to 175 km, 13 land pipelines measuring 88 km and 77 sea wells and 44 terrestrial wells, he said.
The 20 new fields will be carried out through service contracts, so that private firms will handle the infrastructure and drilling. Most of these contracts have already been signed, Romero said.
He expected that with the development of the 20 new fields oil production will increase.
In the past 14 years, Mexico has registered a 45.8 percent drop in oil production, the largest plunge among the main oil producing countries in the world, according to data from the agency.