US supermajor Chevron and its consortium partners have signed an exploration contract with Mexico’s oil industry regulator Comisio Nacional de Hydrocarburos (CNH) for a deep-water block in the Gulf of Mexico.
Chevron, based in San Ramon, California, won the block rights in December last year during Mexico’s bidding round 1.4.
Its partners in the bidding were Japanese firm Inpex and the Mexican state oil company Pemex. Chevron is marginally the lead partner, with a 33.3334% interest, while the other two have each 33.3333% stakes.
The block they will explore is Block 3 of 10 that were offered at the December auction. Eight of the 10 were awarded.
Block 3 is located in the Perdido Fold Belt, about 100km off the coast of the state of Tamaulipas in water depth of 500 to 1,800 metres. It is estimated to contain 971 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMBOE).
Chevron will be the operator and the initial phase of exploration will consist of analyzing seismic data rather than drilling.
The involvement of Chevron and Inpex is only possible because of Mexico opening up its oil and gas sector to foreign investors after decades of exclusion.