The newspaper Milenio Novedades has obtained documents confirming that since 2013, Pemex has been actively exploring potential drilling sites near Scorpion Reef.
Stakes are high. One specialist said that in 10 years, Yucatán’s offshore oil riches could boost Mexico to No. 3 among the world’s oil-producing nations. Today, it ranks No 10, just above Venezuela.
Pemex has been eyeing this zone for longer than two years, but environmental agencies have been able to hold off their progress. This time, financial problems have stalled exploration. Sources told Milenio Novedades that the global oil crisis has slowed funding for Pemex’s exploration unit, PEP, halting for now a large percentage of exploratory plans for the region.
PEP documents stated that the 13-year exploration project, with an investment of 15 billion pesos, would involve the drilling of 15 exploratory wells, all located in the area known in English as Scorpion Reef, 130 kilometers north of the port of Progreso.
Known locally as the Arrecife Alacranes, the coral reef has been designated a national park and is part of the United Nations Biosphere Reserve. The newspaper did not say how the reef’s national and U.N. status would hold off oil production.
Yucatán’s potential as a major oil producer can be linked to the Chicxulub crater, which is thought to have helped the formation of energy fossil formations in the sea off the peninsula.