Mexico awards ten shallow water blocks

The National Hydrocarbons Commission of Mexico on Monday awarded ten of the 15 exploration blocks on offer located in the Gulf of Mexico, as part of the Licensing Round 2.1.

Twelve companies grouped as ten bidders were awarded the contracts for the exploration and production in the shallow water blocks.

In total, 21 companies participated, grouped as 20 bidders. The oil and gas regulator said the investments in newly awarded blocks could reach $8.2 billion over the upcoming years.

Among the notable winners are Eni, Petronas, Repsol, Total, Shell, Lukoil, Pemex, and Ecopetrol.

Cairn, an international, London-listed oil company was also one of the winners. It has secured interests in two licenses, one operated and one non-operated, covering ~ 1,100 km2 in the shallow water Sureste basin in water depths of 100-500 meters, and 50 km offshore.

In Block 7, to be operated by Eni with 45 percent stake, Cairn will have a 30 percent stake, with the remaining 25 going to Citla. In Block 9, Cairn is the operator with 65 percent, and with the remaining 35 percent to be held by Citla.

The licenses were secured by Capricorn Energy Limited a wholly owned subsidiary of Cairn Energy PLC with the Production Sharing Contracts scheduled to be signed later this year with the Government of Mexico. The contract awards are subject to the final approval of the authorities. Cairn anticipates exploration drilling to start in the 2019-2020 period on both blocks.

Cairn Energy CEO, Simon Thomson, said: “We are delighted with these awards which we believe provide an exciting opportunity to build a strategic portfolio over time in this highly prolific yet under-explored region.

As we build on the success of discoveries in Senegal it is important to access new acreage to provide exploration drilling opportunities in the future.

Cairn and its partners have identified and secured our favored blocks with multiple stand-alone prospects and numerous follow-on tie-back opportunities based on 3D seismic data. We are partnered with ENI, an experienced explorer and operator in Mexico, as well as Citla Energy, a Mexican focused, exploration company and look forward to working with our new partners and the Government of Mexico to deliver the work program in the coming years.”

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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