On July 27, 2016, the call for tenders for association with Pemex for the Trion block marked a historic moment for the Mexican oil and gas industry. Never before has PEMEX worked as part of a consortium, and never before has it start produced oil in deepwater or ultra deepwater. “This is a great day for PEMEX and a great day for Mexico. Enabling PEMEX to enter into partnerships is a fundamental step towards international best practices,” said Mexico’s Minister of Energy Pedro Joaquín Coldwell. Undersecretary for Hydrocarbons Lourdes Melgar added that this is a historic day for the implementation of the Energy Reform. The opportunity to operate in partnership with other companies in Mexico’s deepwater areas is strengthening PEMEX and gives it the tools necessary to explore and produce the deepwater resources in the Gulf of Mexico. “PEMEX cannot do this alone since no company in the world operates alone in deepwater. Now, PEMEX can associate itself with the world’s leading deepwater and ultradeepwater operators,” she stated.
PEMEX’s Board of Directors authorized the request to the Ministry of Energy for the migration of the AE0092 and AE0093 assignments, which make up the Trion block, located in the Gulf of Mexico, on June 10, 2016. Following PEMEX’s favorable opinion on the terms and conditions on July 21, and the approval by the National Hydrocarbons Commission in the morning of July 27, the call for bids was announced later that day and will be published in the Diario Oficial de la Federación today.
José Antonio González Anaya, CEO of PEMEX, stated that Trion is a strategic field for PEMEX, the oil and gas industry, and the country. Trion, located in the Perdido Fold Belt, was discovered in 2012 and holds total 3P reserves that are estimated at around 485 million barrels of crude oil equivalent, with an expected 140 million barrels exploration opportunity. An investment of US$11 billion is required for the development of Trion to reach first production in 2023. Production is expected to reach 120,000 b/d.
PEMEX will control the consortium that will develop Trion with a stake of 45%, in association with two operators and a potential financial partner. The Joint Operating Agreement states that a designated operator will hold a 30-45%, the second operator will hold 10-25%, and a non-operating partner can hold up to 10%. The carry, the investment that partners will have to make on behalf of PEMEX to compensate the national oil company for the investment it has already made in Trion, has been set at US$464 million.
The license will have an initial period of 35 years, with two possible extensions of 10 and 5 years. The minimum work plan includes two deliniation wells, one of which will be in Trion, an exploratory well, and the acquisition of 1,250 km2 of 3D seismic.
Potential partners of PEMEX must have operated at least on project in more than 2,500 meter water depth during the past 10 years, must gave produced at least 50,000 b/d in deepwater between 2011-2015, must have experience with the operation of floating production systems, and must have operated in lined with international best practices for environmental and safety performance for at least five years. Moreover, potential partners must have equity of at least US$5 million, have total assets exceeding US$25 billion, and have an investment grade credit rating.
The winners of the call for tenders who will be joining PEMEX in the Trion consortium will be announced on December 5, alongside the winners of the Round 1.4.