Mexico’s National Hydrocarbon Commission (CNH) on Thursday approved the acquisition of a 30% stake in CNOOC’s Block 4 in the potentially rich Perdido Fold Belt deepwater region by Malaysia’s PC Carigali.
The state-owned Chinese oil company will maintain its status as operator of the block, where it plans to drill a well in the second quarter of 2019.
CNOOC plans to drill up to four wells in the Perdido region, including in Block 1. The company won both areas during CNH’s auction round 1.4 in December 2016.
PC Carigali, a subsidiary of state-owned Malaysian company Petronas, is currently one of the largest private offshore acreage holders in Mexico, holding over 20,000 square km across 10 shallow and deepwater blocks.
Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee, Petronas’ CEO, praised Mexico’s geological potential in a December interview with Malaysian business website, The Edge Malaysia.
“Maybe Mexico can be our oil heartland in 20 years’ time… [It’s a] very prolific area,” Wan Zulkiflee told the site. “The first drop of oil will [flow] in 2026 for conventional production. That’s how long it takes,” he added.
In Block 4, CNOOC will drill Xakpun-1EXP in Q2 2019, which has over 320 million barrels of prospective resources and an estimated geological success rate of 42%.
If CNOOC is successful, the well would add 135 million barrels of light oil reserves to the area, the regulator said previously.
HVDC Belt and Road 2019
Moving Power Across the Eurasian Continent
Conference – May 22, 2019 | Site Tour – May 23, 2019
Xakpun-1EXP has a water depth of 1,500 meters and a total depth of 5,500 meters. Its exploratory target is 1,490 meters deep in the Upper Wilcox formation.
CNH said the play is a frontier and technically complex block due to the presence of a large subsalt formation with a maximum thickness of 2,000 meters.
CNOOC has pledged to drill up to three exploratory wells in Block 1.