Bids due in to Pemex for Litoral A's hub platform

Incoming: Mexican President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto

Mexican state oil company Pemex is set to receive bids from three contractors vying to land a contract worth more than $500 million to fabricate a major new hub platform for its Litoral A complex in the Bay of Campeche.

Industry sources said Dragados Offshore of Spain, US-based McDermott and Mexican-owned Cisca are preparing to battle it out to build the major production platform designed to handle about 200,000 barrels per day of oil.

The PB-Litoral-A platform will be the crown-jewel in a new offshore complex designed to exploit a number of recent discoveries.

Pemex needs to monetise about 1.5 billion barrels of oil it has discovered in the Bay of Campeche shallow water.

Bids for the platform — which will be located in just over 26 metres of water — will be submitted on 30 November, said sources.

The tender for PB-Litoral-A looks to be the last major undertaking by Pemex’s offshore planners before President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto assumes power in December.

Pemex’s commitment to proceed with the tender despite the transition in presidential administrations means that Mexico’s fabrication sector, already reaping the rewards of bumper year in offshore contracting, is ending on a high note.

Just as importantly, the upcoming award represents an even more emboldened approach by Pemex to develop what regulators call some of the low-hanging fruit of the Mexican upstream. “The shallow water is where Pemex has expertise,” said the National Hydrocarbon Agency (CNH) president Juan Carlos Zepeda in Houston this week. “Pemex should focus on discoveries such as Tsimin and Xux.”

Pemex has been drilling in deeper waters in the Gulf of Mexico but CNH — which acts as a watchdog for Pemex following energy reform in 2008 — says the state-run company should dedicate its budget to projects such as Litoral A.

“It is more profitable,” Zepeda said. Pemex has already awarded earlier packages related to the flagship shallow-water development.

Last month Dragados landed a $449 million engineering, procurement, construction contract for the Litoral A compression platform weghing in at 15,000 tonnes, including a 9000-tonne deck and a major jacket.

The deck will be installed in Mexico’s first floatover operation. Pemex is also understood to be in the prequalifaction phase for the CB-Litoral-A compression platform.



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