Finance

Petronas wins six blocks from Mexico auctions

Petronas wins six blocks from Mexico auctions

Shell took five contracts in the promising Perdido Fold belt, not far from its own recent finds on the US continental shelf. Total announced a major oil discovery in the Ballymore prospect.

Mexico sold 19 offshore oil and gas blocks in the Gulf of Mexico for $525 million (€423 million) on Wednesday in the country's biggest auction since opening up its oil sector to foreign investment in 2013.

The company revealed that now a sidetrack well is being drilled to further evaluate the Ballymore discovery and to start chalking out development options. "Today's announcement shows how, through exploration, we are sustaining a strong pipeline of discoveries and future projects to sustain this deep-water growth".

Drilling operations for the Whale well were completed last June to a total measured depth of about 22,948 feet. Shell owns 60 percent of the Whale well with Chevron holding the remaining 40 percent.

According to Chevron, Ballymore consolidates its position in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico with the new oil discovery located about 4.8kms from the company's Blind Faith platform.

Shell's Perdido spar platform is just 10 miles to the southwest of the site, and its Silvertip field is directly adjacent - factors that could make it more economical to develop.

Shell has three deepwater projects in the GOM under construction - Appomattox, Kaikias and Coulomb Phase 2 - as well as investment options for additional subsea tiebacks and a potential new hub, Vito.

Shell expects its global deepwater production to surpass 900,000 barrels of oil-equivalent per day (BOE/d) by 2020.

"While already deemed commercially viable, we will work together on the appraisal of this discovery and a cost-effective scheme to ensure a rapid, low breakeven development", he added.

Drilling at the Ballymore prospect began in late July 2017 and was carried out by Pacific Drilling's Sharav deepwater drillship.


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