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Elaine Reynolds
28 March 2018

UK independents pick up blocks in Mexico’s Round 3.1

Premier Oil was awarded three blocks, while Cairn Energy has picked up one block in the latest shallow water round offshore Mexico. Premier beat off bids from five other consortia for Block 30,  which was the most hotly contested of the round. The company holds a 30% WI in the Sureste basin block, which will be operated by DEA and partnered by new entrant Sapura.

Block 30 sits to the south west of Premier’s 400 - 800mmbbl Zama discovery and to the north of Eni’s Amoco oil field, and Premier has identified a number of prospects and leads on existing 3D seismic that show similar anomalies to those seen at Zama and Amoca. The company intends to acquire further 3D seismic in 2019 with a view to firming up drilling locations for 2020. Premier also bid in two further Sureste basin blocks, 28 and 29, which went to Eni/Lukoil and Pemex respectively.

Premier was also awarded 100% of two blocks, 11 and 13, in the Burgos basin and inboard of the deepwater Perdido Fold Belt. The Burgos basin blocks did not generate as much interest as those in the Sureste basin, with four blocks awarded out of the 14 on offer (the remaining two blocks were awarded to Repsol). This brings Premier’s Mexican acreage to five blocks and the largest number held by any UK independent in the region.

Cairn was awarded Block 15 in the Tampico /Misantla basin, which it will operate alongside partner Citla. This will add to the company’s two Sureste basin licences, Block 7 and Block 9, that were awarded in 2017. Cairn also bid on Block 30, awarded to DEA/Premier/Sapura and Block 31, also in the Sureste basin which went to Eni/Lukoil.

Ophir Energy also holds three blocks offshore Mexico, but did not participate in this round. Having entered into the Sureste basin in 2017 in Block 5, the company was recently awarded a 20%WI in Blocks 10 and 12 in the Ridges basin as part of offshore round 2.4. Previously considered as a gas prone area, Ophir believes that oil could be present in the Ridges basin.


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