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MEXICO CITY, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Mexico's oil regulator voted on Tuesday to approve plans by national oil company Pemex to drill two new deepwater wells later this year near the maritime border with the United States in the Gulf of Mexico.
Both wells are expected to yield light or super light crude, and are within the Mexican extension of the Perdido Fold Belt, which has proved highly productive in adjacent U.S. waters but has represented a major challenge for Pemex due to its lack of specialized expertise.
The National Hydrocarbons Commission, known as the CNH, approved Pemex's request to drill the Vasto-1001 and Nobilis-1 wells, both off the coast of northeastern Tamaulipas state in the country's largely untapped deep waters of the Gulf.
Vasto-1001 will be drilled at a depth of 23,717 feet (7,229 meters), costing an estimated 3.4 billion pesos ($190 million) and believed to hold prospective resources of about 203 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) in mostly light crude.
The nearby Nobilis-1 well will be 19,619 feet (5,980 meters) deep and cost about 2.73 billion pesos ($152.7 million). The deposit the well will explore is believed to hold prospective resources of about 161 million boe in mostly super light crude.
The location of the Nobilis-1 well is just over 4 miles (7 km) from Pemex's Maximino-1 well, one of the company's most promising deep water discoveries in recent years. ($1 = 17.8800 Mexican pesos) (Reporting by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)