GEO ExPro

Exploration Update - Mexico

First Foreign Discovery
This article appeared in Vol. 14, No. 3 - 2017

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Italian oil company Eni is the first major IOC to make an offshore oil discovery in Mexico since energy sector reforms were enacted in 2013. Amoca 2, which is situated in the Contract 1 area in the shallow waters of Campeche Bay, about 200 km west of Ciudad del Carmen and only a few kilometres offshore, was spudded in early January 2017 using Seadrill’s ‘West Castor’ jack-up. 

The well, in 25m of water, reached a total depth of approximately 3,500m. It discovered about 110m of net oil pay from several good quality Pliocene reservoir sandstones, of which 65m were found in a deeper, previously undrilled horizon. The well confirmed the presence of 18° API oil in the shallower formations, while the newly discovered deeper sandstones contain high quality light oil. 

On 1 December 2015, Eni reported that it signed a Production Sharing Contract with the Mexican authority CNH for the Contract 1 area covering the Amoca, Mizton and Tecoalli fields, which it had won in Mexico’s Round 1.2. According to the official estimates from the CNH, the combined volumes in place for the three fields amount to approximately 800 MMbo and 480 Bcf of associated gas, and this discovery indicates a meaningful upside to the original estimates of recoverable resources. Eni is already evaluating options for a fast-track phased development of the fields. 

Having made this discovery, Eni, which has not previously operated in Mexico, is moving ahead rapidly with its multi-well drilling campaign offshore Mexico, with Amoca-3 lined up to follow next, probably again using the ‘West Castor’ rig. Eni is believed to have more wells planned in this shallow water block, including the Mizton-2 and Tecoalli-2 delineation wells. They will be drilled in 2017 to help the company better understand Mizton 1 and Tecoalli 1 and to target new undrilled pools. These discoveries were made by Pemex in 2012, before the international industry was invited to participate in exploration in Mexico. 

Eni holds a 100% stake in the Area 1 Production Sharing Agreement.

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