Statoil wins two deepwater blocks off Mexico

Norwegian oil company Statoil has been awarded Blocks 1 and 3 in the Saline Basin in the Mexican deepwater licensing round held on Monday. 

Statoil said on Monday that the company would be the operator of Blocks 1 and 3 with a 33.4 percent stake, with partners BP and Total participating equally with the remaining equity.

The blocks cover an area of about 5,650 km2 in the largely unexplored deepwater areas of the Saline Basin.

The licenses were awarded in a competitive bid round with a total of ten deepwater blocks on offer, with four in the Perdido Area and six in the Saline Basin in water depths ranging from about 900 – 3,200 meters.

To remind, the Mexican National Hydrocarbons Agency (CNH) announced a list of oil and gas firms that qualified to take part in the tender for Mexico’s deepwater blocks back in August. The tender offer was Mexico’s first ever tender for deepwater exploration acreage.

CNH said at the time that twenty-six companies, representing 18 nations qualified for the tender, sixteen as operators and ten as non-operators.

Tore Løseth, vice president for exploration in the US and Mexico, said: “Mexico’s opening presents the industry with great opportunities, so we are pleased to secure an early position. The award grants Statoil access to significant frontier acreage in an underexplored part of offshore Mexico. The blocks are virtually untested, with considerable subsurface uncertainty, but with play-opening potential.”

Statoil added that the winning bids for both blocks consisted of an additional royalty of 10 percent on potential future revenues and an additional work program equivalent to one biddable well per block. Each block also has a minimum work program as defined by the authorities, including a variety of geological activities but no required wells.

“With the Deepwater tender bringing Mexico’s historic Round 1 to a conclusion, we are starting to see the fruits of Mexico’s comprehensive energy reform. Statoil has a long-term perspective in Mexico, and we look forward to contributing to developing the energy sector by assessing the blocks awarded,” said Løseth.

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