Statoil Wins Blocks in Mexico's First Deepwater Round
Norway's Statoil won blocks 1 and 3 in the Saline basin in Mexico's first ever deepwater exploration tender, it said December 5. The blocks cover an area of about 5,650 km² in largely unexplored waters. Malaysian state Petronas and China Offshore Oil Corp also picked up blocks.
The licences were awarded in a competitive bid round. Ten deepwater blocks were on offer, with four in the Perdido Area and six in the Saline basin. The blocks awarded are in water depths ranging from 900 – 3,200 metres. Eight blocks were awarded.
Of the four Perdido Area blocks, China Offshore Oil Corp picked up two (blocks 1 and 4) while Total was awarded block 2 and Chevron block 3, in all cases as part of bid consortia.
Separately, BHP Billiton said it won bidding for the Trion discovery in Mexican deep water acreage as operator, with Mexican state Pemex its partner.
Statoil's Americas upstream VP, Tore Loseth
'Great opportunities' says Statoil
Statoil's vice-president for US and Mexico exploration Tore Loseth said the latest round "presents the industry with great opportunities, so we are pleased to secure an early position... with significant frontier acreage." The blocks however "are virtually untested, with considerable subsurface uncertainty, but with play-opening potential."
Loseth also said that Statoil was "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."
The winning bids for both blocks consisted of an additional royalty of 10% (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.