Mexico City – State-owned oil giant Petroleos Mexicanos said the Bicentenario drilling platform, the first to be used for projects in deepwater areas, arrived in Mexico from a South Korean shipyard.
The platform, which was leased for five years without a purchase option, is a "sixth generation" rig, Pemex said.
The Bicentenario arrived in Tuxpan, a port city in the eastern state of Veracruz, after making a technical stop in Aruba, Pemex said.
The semi-submersible platform will start operations with Talipau-1, a well in the Golfo de Mexico Sur de la Region Norte investment project.
The rig will drill to a depth of 5,000 meters (16,393 feet), Pemex said.
Mexico's oil production has been declining for several years and experts say the domestic energy industry's future is in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.
Pemex, however, lacks the proprietary technology to drill in deepwater areas, a problem blamed by many analysts on the company's highly regulated operations and the fact that it accounts for 30 percent of the Treasury's revenues, leaving little money to invest in new technologies.
Bicentenario, constructed by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, is 138 meters (452 feet) tall, weighs 58,000 tons and has the capacity to house 160 people.
The platform has eight engines that "allow it to move from place to place in an independent manner," Pemex said.
The rig's lease was assigned in 2007 to the consortium formed by Industrial Perforadora de Campeche, or IPC, and Grupo R Exploracion Marina, or Gremsa, in a public international auction.
A group of "foreign experts on the operation of this type of equipment for drilling in deepwater areas" will train Mexican technicians to run the platform, Pemex said.