Chicontepec petroleum fields are in the boundaries of the states of Veracruz, Puebla and Hidalgo. This system holds 39% of total possible hydrocarbons reserves in Mexico, or some 17.7 billion boe. It is the largest, certified hydrocarbon reserve of Mexico.
Chicontepec will receive more funds than any other project in Pemex's planned US$8.62bn investment for 2009.
Mexico first discovered Chicontepec in 1926 but overlooked it for 75 years due to the difficult nature of the formations. It holds a multitude of small pockets of oil with low pressure and low permeability, making it difficult and expensive to get the oil out of the ground. Pemex has consistently missed its production targets at the basin. The company plans to invest $11.3 billion in Chicontepec over the next four years to lift production to 356,000 barrels a day, up from a trickle at present.