Australian energy company BHP Billiton should begin exploratory drilling at the Trion discovery in the Mexican Gulf of Mexico in the fourth quarter of this year, probably October, according to Reuters.
BHP Billiton earned the joint venture rights in December 2016 to team up with Mexico’s state oil firm Pemex in the Trion joint venture (JV) project. BHP has a 60% stake, Pemex 40%.
Trion is a deep-water field believed to contain about 480 million barrels of oil with a value of $11 billion. It is located in the Perdido Fold Belt near Mexico’s maritime border with the US.
As the operator, BHP will drill a new appraisal well and a separate exploration well.
The exploration plan, approved by Mexico’s oil industry regulator CNH (Comisio Nacional de Hidrocarburos), also includes a range of geological studies to be done.
Since 2013’s energy reforms policy, the Mexican government has been loosening Pemex’s monopoly grip on oil production, letting in private and foreign bidders in order to boost productivity.