Italian oil company Eni has discovered “meaningful” reserves of oil off the coast of Mexico after drilling the first well by an international oil company since Mexico opened up its long closed oil sector to private investment under a 2013 reform.
The Amoca-2 well, in the shallow waters of the Bay of Campeche in southeast Mexico, “confirmed the presence of 18° API oil [light oil] in the shallower formations, while the newly discovered deeper sandstones contain high quality light oil. Reserves are still being assessed, but the well indicates a meaningful upside to the original estimates,” Eni said in a statement.
Eni plans a second well in the Amoca area and two more drills in 2017 to appraise existing discoveries and target new undrilled pools, writes Jude Webber in Mexico City.
Eni won one block in a September 2015 auction round, the second launched by Mexico since the reform.
“Focusing on conventional exploration with high initial stakes and operatorship, we manage to fast-track exploration activities, monetize exploration successes early and receive competitive development opportunities, therefore maximizing value generation for our shareholders,” Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi said.
Mexico has auctioned exploration and development blocks in shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico as well as onshore and deep-water areas. The auction process continues with a new round of bids in June.
Mexico’s oil and gas sector was off-limits to private investors for nearly 80 years. The government’s expectations of a flood of investment were slowed by the crash in oil prices but after a slow start, interest in the auctions has been solid.