Archive for the ‘Mexico’ Category

Relax; just kidding about the California part (or am I? 😉).

BOE’s Mexican correspondent, Andrew Konczvald, took pictures of what looks like a deepwater drillship parked near the beautiful Pacific coast resort town of Manzanillo. Upon further review, our crack investigators determined that the rig is the Hidden Gem, a deepsea mining vessel, owned by The Metals Company (TMC). Last year, TMC conducted a pilot nodule collection program in the Clarion Clipperton Zone between Hawaii and Mexico.

Read Full Post »

Per offshore-energy.biz, Russian giant Lukoil has closed a $450 million deal to acquire operator interest in Mexican offshore tracts. Not a good look for Mexico, but in their defense:

  • The deal was closed on 3 February.
  • Many countries, including the US, continue to import Russian oil and gas.
  • Lukoil continues to sell gasoline in the US and worldwide.
  • Unlike some elements of the US government, Mexico appreciates the domestic and international importance of expanding their offshore program.

Read Full Post »

Mexico Map

As I understand it:

  1. The Zama field, with estimated reserves of ~700 million barrels, has a common reservoir that underlies Talos Block 7 and a contiguous Pemex block.
  2. Talos drilled the discovery well and 3 delineation wells. Pemex has not drilled a well.
  3. The companies were unable to concur on the terms of a unit agreement.
  4. A third party study for the purpose of initial tract participation, determined that Pemex has a 50.4% share of the reserves. Talos has criticized this study. A previous study had determined that the Talos group has 59.6% of the reserves.
  5. On July 2, 2021, the Mexican Ministry of Energy (SENER) selected Pemex as operator. Talos is disputing that decision.


  • One of the few energy policy mistakes that the US has not made is the formation of a national oil company. There have been attempts, most notably the 1975 Senate proposal to establish the Federal Oil and Gas Corporation or FOGCO. (I’m not making this up!).
  • When Mexico’s national oil company is one of the competitors, SENER shouldn’t be determining the unit operator. Instead, an arbitration or independent review process should be established.
  • Pemex appears to have been largely a Zama field passenger to date. The discovery well and all delineation wells were drilled by Talos. If the “rule of capture” applied, Talos would be proceeding with development and Pemex would be negotiating with very little leverage.
  • If Mexico wants to discourage foreign investment in their offshore sector, this is a good way to do it.

Read Full Post »

This graphic update gives a better sense of the horrific tragedy that unfolded:

MEXICO CITY (AP)Mexico’s state-owned oil company said Tuesday the possible remains of two missing subcontractors had been found on one of its oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico following a weekend fire.

Pemex Director Octavio Romero said the apparent remains were found in a control room on the platform where temperatures reached around 1,800 degrees (1,000 degrees Celsius). Such heat would have burned the bodies beyond recognition.

Given the magnitude of the event, the restart schedule seems pretty aggressive. Hopefully, the risks have been fully assessed and the resumption of production is not being rushed.

Pemex said that by Aug. 30 it hoped to restore all of the 421,000 barrels per day in production knocked out by the blaze.

AP News

Read Full Post »

the Mexican government’s recent decision to anoint Pemex operator of the billion barrel Zama field would seem to merit further scrutiny. Houston-based Talos Energy discovered the Zama field in 2017. The field underlies both Pemex and Zama acreage, and there are common reservoirs. Per Bloomberg:

Mexico’s energy ministry has designated Petroleos Mexicanos as the operator of the country’s largest oil discovery by private companies, in the latest sign of the government’s nationalist approach to the energy industry.

Talos said it was “very disappointed” with the decision and will explore “legal and strategic options” regarding Zama. The company added that the energy ministry had informed Talos of its “sudden” decision only three days after the driller received a letter directly from Pemex arguing for operatorship.

Bloomberg, 7/5/2021

The Mexican government’s decision is indicative of the Lopez Obrador administration’s commitment to rolling back the reforms that had encouraged private sector participation in Mexican offshore exploration and development.

Questions had already been raised about Pemex’s ability to fund Zama development and operate the field safely. This week’s deadly incident and a July pipeline fire add to those concerns. In light of the background political and financial issues, will it be possible to for Pemex and the Mexican regulators to conduct a fully independent investigation of the tragic fire that just occurred?

Read Full Post »

  1. 5 workers killed – 4 contractors and one Pemex employee
  2. 6 workers injured, one in critical condition
  3. 2 workers are missing
  4. The fire occurred in the power generation and compression area of the platform
  5. Contractors Cotemar and BMCI were performing maintenance at the time of the incident
  6. The fire has now been extinguished
  7. No reports of an oil spill
  8. Massive loss of production – 421,000 BOPD shut-in

Defensive and rather shameful comments by the CEO:

“There is not a problem of lack of investment, there is not a problem of lack of resources,” Romero said. “The oil industry is a risky industry. We have had accidents, which in numbers are less than in previous years.”


Read Full Post »