Malaysian energy giant Petronas has been awarded shallow water Block 6 in the Gulf of Mexico’s Salina basin, the company said 2 August.
Covering an area of about 559sq km in water depths of 30-80m, its wholly owned subsidiary PC Carigali Mexico will operate Block 6 in a 50:50 partnership with Colombian national oil company, Ecopetrol.
Last year, Petronas was awarded deepwater Blocks 4 and 5 in a joint venture partnership following Mexico’s first ever auction of its deepwater exploration areas. PC Carigali will be the operator of Block 4 with 50% stake, alongside Mexican independent Sierra Oil & Gas.
The block covers an area of about 2600sq km in water depths of 800-1600m. The initial exploration period is four years where the duo will concentrate on seismic data acquisition and processing.
PC Carigali is also 23.34% stakeholder in the fifth block which was awarded to a consortium led by Murphy Sur (30%), including UK oil and gas firm Ophir Energy (23.33%) and Sierra Offshore Exploration (23.33%).
Block 5 will be operated by Murphy Sur with an initial exploration period of also four years including a work program commitment of one well. The block is approximately 2600sq km and sits in water depths of 700-1100.
Petronas vice president of exploration, upstream, Emeliana Rice-Oxley said Mexico is largely underexplored and holds substantial material opportunities for the company. “We are very pleased to add Block 6 to our growing exploration portfolio in Mexico and be one of the early movers in this basin. This is aligned with the group’s strategy to explore for material oil in largely underexplored prospective regions,” she added.
To date, Petronas has a total of 5491sq km in gross acreage in the Salina basin. The firm is further expanding its footprint in the region with a new office opening in Mexico City in Q3 2017.
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