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Aug 2021: Eni (operator, 65%), Lukoil (20%) and Capricorn (15%) announced an oil find within Upper Miocene sequences in the Sayulita-1 well, Block 10 in 325m of water of the Cuenca Salina Sureste Basin. It is the second well in Block 10, 15 kms away from the 2020 Saasken-1 well discovery that will be appraised in late 2021. toward year-end.


July 2020: The Ministry of Petroleum (SENER) gave Talos and Pemex 120 days to reach a unification agreement for the Zama field in shallow waters of the GoM 58 kms off Tabasco. It may hold 670 mm recoverable bbls of oil to be produced from 2024. The licences are CNH-R01-L01-A7/2015 (Talos) and AE-0152-Uchukil (Pemex). Pemex has not drilled any wells on its side.

May 2020: Repsol (operator), PTT and Wintershall Dea have discovered oil with 2 wells in block 29 around 88 kms from the Tabasco coastline. Polok-1, in a water depth of 583 m, had 200m of net oil pay and Chinwol-1, in 464 m of water had 150m of net oil pay of roughly 150 m (492 ft).

May 2020: Cairn (30%) reports that operations have been completed on the Ehecatl-1 exploration well in 426m of water on Block 7 in the Sureste Basin. It was a dry hole and has been permanently plugged and abandoned. ENI is the operator.

Apr 2020: The country will reduce output by only 100,000 bbls per day as part of OPEC+ after being asked for a cut of 400,000. The baseline for the cut is Oct 2018 and Mexican output is naturally declining so that a much smaller cut is actually required. Furthermore, condensate production, with no standard definition outside of OPEC, is exempt.

Mar 2020: McDermott has been awarded a contract by BHP (operator, 60%) and Pemex (40%) to provide pre-FEED) services for an FPU at the offshore Trion field in a water depth of 2,500 m 30 kms) south of the US border.

Mar 2020: Total and  ExxonMobil have given up rights to a deepwater block in the southern Gulf of Mexico won at auction in 2016. A fine of US$21.2mm will be paid. Hokchi Energy and Talos Energy have also relinquished rights after winning blocks.

Feb 2020: Eni (operator, 65%), Lukoil (20%) and Capricorn (15%) have made an oil discovery in the Saasken-1 well in Block 10. It is in 340m of water of the Cuenca Salina and is the 6th successful well drilled by Eni in the Sureste Basin. The well drilled 80m of pay in the Lower Pliocene and Upper Miocene.

Jan 2020: Talos Energy (operator, 35%) estimates that the Zama discovery holds 2C recoverable resources of 670 mm bbls of oil plus oil equivalent gas. Partners are Sierra, Wintershall and Premier. Aproximately 60% lies in Block 7 with the remainder in the block to the east owned by Pemex. An FID is due in 2020 with first oil in 2023. The development will include 2 fixed production facilities in 168m of water.


Jul 2019: Eni began early production from the Miztón field in 34m of water, Area 1, Campeche Bay. Eni is the first international company to start offshore production in Mexico after the Energy Reform. Area 1 includes the Amoca, Miztón and Tecoalli fields. Oil and gas are sent to an Onshore Receiving Facility (ORF) in Sanchez Magallanes. Full field production will start in early 2021 using an FPSO.

Mar 2019: Murphy Oil (operator) and Ophir discovered oil and gas in the Cholula-1 well in Block 5 within the Salina del Istmo offshore Basin, a sub-basin of the Sureste Basin. Further drilling will be required to confirm commerciality. The well is in a water depth of 750m.


Nov 2018: Pemex has tripled its estimated reserves in the onshore Ixachi field in Vera Cruz, believing it to contain 1.3 bn bblsoe. It is expected to reach 80,000 bbls per day of condensate production and 7.4 bcm of gas a year by 2022.

Oct 2018: Pemex has confirmed the discovery of 2 oil fields in the Southeast Basin, named Manik-101A in 90m of water and Mulach-1 in 21m of water. Pemex is also assessing its shallow water Kinbe oil field and Koban gas/condensate field discovered in 2011 and 2016 respectively whilst it will soon begin developing its Xikin and Esah shallow water fields both discovered in 2015.

Sep 2018: Talos Energy (operator) signed a pre-unitization agreement for the Zama field in Block 7, extending into Pemex Block Amoca-Yaxche-03 in the offshore Southeast Basin (Campeche). Zama-1 was the first offshore well drilled by a private company and is estimated to contain up to 2 bn bbls of oil equivalent. First oil expected in 2022 using 3 production platforms .

Mar 2018: The National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH) announced that, for the First Tender of Round 3, 35 PSCs were available in shallow waters and 21 companies were registered. It awarded 16 blocks to firms including Repsol, Total, Eni, Premier Oil, Pemex and DEA.

Jan 2018: Licensing Round 2.4 made 29 deepwater blocks available in the Perdido, Mexican Ridges and Saline Basin areas. Shell dominated the round as a high bidder for 9 of the 19 areas awarded, either as a single bidder or jointly with partners.

Jan 2018: A tender of deepwater blocks, due at the end of January, to explore and drill in 29 blocks in the Gulf of Mexico, is the largest since the 2014 ending of the Pemex monopoly. Big companies have registered to take part, including ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, Total and CNOOC.


Dec 2017: Eni (operator, 100%) has discovered oil in the Tecoalli 2 well in Area 1 in a water depth of 33m within the Sureste basin of Campeche Bay. The Tecoalli field is 24 kms from the Amoca field and 13 kms from the Miztón field. A Development Plan (PoD) for Area 1 will soon be submitted with production startup planned for mid-2019.

Nov 2017: Pemex has made a significant oil discovery with its Ixachi-1 well, 72 kms south of Veracruz. The field is reported to have reserves of 350 mm bbls close to existing infrastructure.

Jul 2017: Eni (operator, 100%) has tested light oil in the Amoca-3 well in the shallow waters of Campeche Bay proving the presence of multiple oil levels in the Pliocene Orca and Cinco Presidentes Formations. Amoca-3 is located in Contractual Area 1, 200 km west of Ciudad Del Carmen in 25m of water, southwest of Amoca-1 and northwest of Amoca-2.

Jul 2017: Talos Energy (operator, 35%), Premier Oil (25%) and Sierra (40%) announced the Zama-1 well in 166m of water in Block 7, 60 kms offshore of Dos Bocas, is a significant light oil discovery. Zama-1 is the first offshore exploration well drilled by the private sector. Drilling is continuing.

Jun 2017: Round 2.1 in the auctioning process for private companies to lease southern blocks drew participation from 20 companies from more than a dozen countries with 10 of the 15 blocks awarded.

Mar 2017: Eni (operator, 100%) has discovered oil in Pliocene reservoirs of the Amoca-2 well in Contractual Area 1, 200 kms west of Ciudad del Carmen in shallow waters of Campeche Bay. Amoca-2 is the first well drilled by an international company in Mexico since the 2013 Energy Reform. Amoca-3 is now planned followed by the Mizton-2 and Tecoalli-2 appraisal wells in 2017.

Mar 2016: Mexico's oil regulator will organize two annual oil auctions from 2018 following 3 previously announced ones set for later in 2017 covering two shallow water tenders and an onshore tender. A fourth auction in December will include deep waters and unconventional onshore shales.


Nov 2016: Licences for 10 deepwater areas were awarded by the National Hydrocarbons Commission to companies including Total, CNOOC, Chevron and ExxonMobil. They include all 4 blocks in the deep water Perdido Basin  In the Salina Basin 4 of 6 blocks were awarded. BHP also won the right to develop the Trion field with Pemex.

Oct 2016: Pemex has approved a joint venture for two shallow water fields (Ayin and Batsil) in the Gulf of Mexico. The partner could be announced in March 2017.

Jul 2016: Mexico has launched the first call for the upcoming Round 2 bidding round, covering 15 blocks, to be held in Q1 2017. Successful bidders for the blocks in shallow water of the Gulf of Mexico will sign a PSC for 30 years (4 plus 2 years for the initial exploration period). The blocks lie along the coasts of Tampico, Misantla, Veracruz and the southeast covering an area of 8,908 sq kms.

Jun 2016: Pemex has picked the deep water 480 mm bbl Trion field in the Perdido area near the USA border as the first to farm out to other operators to help it develop untapped resources. The field will require about US$11bn of investment and more farm outs will follow.The companies involved will be announced in December when the first auction for deep water fields will be held.

Jan 2016: The next bidding round (2.1) will be called by the end of June and will consist of 15 shallow water blocks in the Gulf of Mexico. The subsequent round (2.2), will be called by the end of the summer and will consist of 14 onshore blocks in the Burgos Basin in the north and in the southeast.


Dec 2015: Mexico will tender licences for 10 deepwater areas in the GOM late in 2016 with 4 of the areas in the Perdido Fold Belt expected to contain light oil. The regulator, CNH, awarded all 25 contracts in the previous onshore auction mostly to small Mexican companies followed 2 offshore auctions in July and September, when 5 of 19 contracts were awarded.

Oct 2015: Eni (100%) has won a PSC to appraise, develop and exploit the Amoca, Miztón and Tecoalli fields in the shallow waters of Area 1, Campeche Bay. Volumes in place for the 3 fields are around 800 mm bbls of oil and 10 bcm of associated gas.

Jul 2015: Fewer than half of the companies qualified to bid in the first auction of offshore oil blocks have chosen to submit offers . Statoil and Eni are among 14 of 38 qualified bidders who participated. Only 2 of the first 13 blocks  received qualifying bids from just one group.

Jul 2015: Mexico plans to auction 914 onshore and offshore areas in the next 5 years . Of these, 670 will be for exploration and 244 for production projects. The bulk of the estimated extra oil and gas production to be realised is forecast to come from 12 fields in the Chicontepec basin.

Jun 2015: Pemex has made 4 significant oil discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico in Tabasco State. Esah, Cheek, Batsil and Xikin are reported to be Mexico’s biggest finds in the last 5 years after Tsimin-Xux and Ayatsil. Pemex said that the fields could be put in production within 16 months and eventually produce 200,000 bbls of oil per day and 1.75 bcm of gas per year.

May 2015: Mexico approved 19 companies and 7 groups to bid on 14 shallow water exploration blocks. ExxonMobil, Chevron and Pacific Rubiales  were among them. In addition the CNH will auction 9 shallow water blocks in September and 26 onshore blocks in December.

May 2015: Mexico approved a call for bids for contracts in 26 onshore areas across 5 states in the Burgos, Tampico-Misantla, and Salinas-Sureste Basins. This follows 2 earlier packages covering 19 shallow water areas, all part of the Round One tender launched late in 2014. Round One will allow companies to bid on 169 blocks for the first time since nationalization in 1938.


Oct 2014: OneSubsea has been awarded a subsea production system contract for more than US$270 mm for the Lakach deepwater project. It is the first deepwater field to be developed by Pemex. A seven well system will be supplied with deliveries commencing in 2016.

Sep 2014: Pemex forecast oil output would average 2.4 mm bbls per day in 2015; the first rise in a decade (GS notes: Pemex has often failed to meet its targets).It expects output of 2.35 mm bbls per day in 2014. Gross gas production is expected to fall in 2015 because of new measuring techniques. The heavy oil Ayatsil-Tekel-Utsil field in Campeche Bay will begin commercial production in October 2014.

 Jul 2014:  Pemex will launch a US$6bn investment in 2017 to maintain production at the Cantarell field which has fallen more than 80% since 2004. The investment will try to stabilize Akal's output at between 180,000 and 200,000 bbls per day (GS notes: this appears unduly optimistic considering previous decline rates). Cantarell is now Mexico's second highest-yielding field, behind Ku-Maloob-Zaap.

Jan 2014: Mexico will offer contracts to foreign companies by the end of 2015 or early 2016. Prior to this the legal framework must be determined and Pemex must select the fields it wishes to develop on its own.


Dec 2013: Seadrill has entered into a Heads of Agreement with Pemex for 5 potential jack-up contracts beginning in the first half of 2014 with a total revenue potential over US$1.8 bn. The agreement will include 3 Le Tourneau Super 116C rigs; West Defender, West Intrepid and West Courageous, and 2 newbuild Friede & Goldman JU2000E rigs; West Oberon and Prospector 3.

Dec 2013: Mexico's Senate has approved a measure to open the oil industry to foreign investment for the first time since 1938. The measure would let private firms explore and extract oil and gas with Pemex and take a share of the profits. It now moves to the lower house to be voted on, where it is expected to pass. It must then be approved by 17 of the country's 32 federal entities.

Aug 2013: Mexico produced 2,482 thousand bbls of oil per day in July, the lowest monthly output since October 1995. Mexico has seen output drop by a quarter since hitting a peak of 3,400 thousand bbls per day in 2004. Two-thirds of the oilfields are in decline and output at the country's top producing field, Ku-Maloob-Zaap, is expected to drop 60% over the next decade.

Jul 2013: PEMEX got a poor response to the Chicontepec auction with PEMEX contracting only half of the 6 blocks out to tender. Halliburton won the contract to operate the Humapa block and Mexico's Grupo Diavaz won the Miquetla block. The Chicontepec auction is the third round of the fee-per-barrel contracting scheme created after a 2008 reform. In 2012 the geologically complicated Chicontepec area produced an average of 74,800 bbls per day.

May 2013: PEMEX is delaying significant activity at its Burgos and Chicontepec projects until 2014.

Apr 2013: Mexico nationalised its oil 75 years ago but now needs to invite back foreign investors. Pemex is barred by Mexico's constitution from forming joint ventures with oil companies but does not have the expertise or capital to extract deep water oil or onshore shale oil and gas on its own. Pemex are drilling in deep waters near the US border targeting the Perdido, which is highly productive on the US side. For developments to proceed any time soon partnerships with US explorers would need to allow the booking of reserves, but to do this would require the politically dangerous act of modifying Mexico’s constitution.

Feb 2013: Pemex predicts its Ku Maloob Zaap oil fields in the shallow waters of the Bay of Campeche will maintain output at 850,000 bbls per day through 2017 (note from Globalshift:this appears optimistic). Ku Maloob Zaap's 170 producing wells contributed a third of Mexico's crude output in 2012 and achieved 865,000 bbls per day at the end of the year


Oct 2012: PEMEX has found a second oil deposit in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The Supremo well, 250 kms east of the Gulf port of Matamoros on the border with the US and 40kms south of Mexico's maritime border, was drilled in 2,900m of water. PEMEX expects to book oil reserves of up to 125 mm bbls. The discovery follows the Trion discovery in the Perdido area in 2,500m of water, from which PEMEX expects to add up to 400 mm bbls of oil.

Aug 2012: Petrofac confirmed that Pemex has selected it for the  service contract to develop the Arenque area. The Arenque field is situated in the Gulf of Mexico, 30 kms from Tampico and is currently producing under 5,000 bbls per day. Under the contract, which runs for 30 years, Petrofac plans to increase production using horizontal wells and secondary recovery. In addition there is upside potential in the rest of the block. This is the fourth service contract that Petrofac has been awarded. The others are for the Magallanes and Santuario fields in Tabasco State, and the Panuco field in Veracruz State.

Aug 2012: Pemex reports its first big oil discovery in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The initial estimate of the Trion field in the Perdido fold belt is between 250 and 400 mm bbls. Pemex is seeing its crude oil production fall largely as a result of the sharp decline in the Cantarell oilfields, in shallow waters in the southern Gulf of Mexico. Pemex sees the development of deep water reserves (and of the deposits of the onshore Chicontepec basin) as the key to raising oil production again.

Central America


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Mexico Datafiles

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