July 12, 2017 – Houston-based Talos Energy LLC announced this morning that they made a historic discovery of oil in the southern Gulf of Mexico roughly 37 miles from Puerto Dos Bocas. Talos Energy is the first private drilling firm to strike oil off the coast of Mexico.
Talos Energy specializes in working with developed deepwater and shelf assets in the Gulf of Mexico. The company was founded in 2012.
The exploration well where the discovery was made is the Zama-1, which has reached an initial shallow target vertical depth of roughly 11,100 feet; Talos intends to drill further to a total of 14,000 feet. The well is sitting in water at a depth of 546 feet.
Zama-1 began spudding May 21, 2017, using the moored floating drilling rig the Ensco 8503.
Talos Energy operates Zama-1 with its joint venture partners Mexico-based Sierra Oil and Gas and London-based Premier Oil Plc. The interests are split: 35% Talos Energy, 40% Sierra Oil and Gas, and 25% Premier Oil Plc.
“This success is the culmination of a tremendous amount of work by our technical and operations teams in concert with our consortium partners Sierra and Premier,” said Tim Duncan, president and chief executive officer of Talos Energy. He also added, “The team deserves a great deal of credit for their conviction in this opportunity and their leadership in making Talos the first private sector operator to receive acreage and drill a successful offshore exploration in Mexico following the landmark energy reforms of 2014.”
The oil discovered at Zama-1 is light, having a specific gravity between 28 and 30 degrees. Talos estimates that there is potentially 1.4 to 2.0 billion barrels of oil to be extracted from the field along with some associated gas.
Pablo Medina, an analyst at energy research firm Wood Mackenzie said, “The Zama discovery by Talos is the most important achievement so far of Mexico’s Energy Reform.” He also says the discovery is, “one of the 20 largest shallow-water fields discovered globally in the past 20 years.”
Up until 2014, the state-run company, Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX), had a monopoly on Mexico’s oil and gas market. The Mexican government deregulated the energy market because of low profits, allowing private foreign companies to take part in energy exploration and production.
“This is both a historic and significant discovery, and we could not be more proud of the highly skilled personnel from Mexico and the US who have been working together in a safe and efficient manner to make it a reality. We believe this discovery represents exactly what the energy reforms intended to deliver: new capital, new participants and a spirit of ingenuity that leads to local jobs and government revenues for Mexico. We are eager to begin appraising this discovery and drilling more unique opportunities. The future is bright for offshore Mexico for years to come,” concluded Tim Duncan.
Article written by HEI contributor Raymond Arrasmith.