Alma América Porres LunaWed, 01/22/2014 - 12:27
2013 saw important activity take place in the deepwater gas region of Litoral de Tabasco, with the drilling of exploration well Yoka-1 and delineation wells Piklis-1DL and Lakach-21. Due to the heavy public scrutiny it has been subject to, as well as complications in optimizing the contracting terms and risk allocation to attract the necessary technology providers, the development stage of the Lakach field has been delayed repeatedly. However, important progress was still made with the completion of the Lakach-21 well, the first development well in Mexican deepwater. Lakach is a non-associated gas field, holding 850bcf of reserves. “Following our safety analysis, we | EXPERT INSIGHT have already approved the drilling of several development wells in Lakach,” explains Alma América Porres Luna, Commissioner of CNH. “However, PEMEX has not been able to prove that it has the security capabilities for the well completion stage at Lakach.” At the moment, PEMEX is drafting the required safety and security documentation to overcome these regulatory hurdles. Porres Luna believes this is one of the segments where PEMEX could most benefit from the provision to seek partnerships extended by the Energy Reform. “PEMEX could take advantage and partner with other companies that can contribute the necessary technology, investment, capabilities, and experience. I firmly believe that PEMEX will form joint ventures with companies that have already done this kind of development projects in other countries,” she states. There are countries such as Brazil, the US, Norway, Colombia, and Angola to name a few, that have been facing the deepwater challenge for a long time. This gives PEMEX the possibility to select a partner that is more experienced in developing such projects, which will lead Lakach into a development stage.
The Energy Reform Decree includes the creation of the National Agency of Industrial Safety and Environmental Protection of the Hydrocarbon Sector (ANSIPA), which will be responsible for all safety regulation and enforcement. Once the secondary laws come into effect, this agency will be in charge of the deepwater safety issues that are slowing down PEMEX’s development in Lakach, among other safety-related tasks. In the meantime, PEMEX continues to work with CNH to review the development wells in the area. “If PEMEX proves it has the capabilities to complete those wells before CNH hands over safety regulation responsibilities to ANSIPA, then we would be in charge of approving the corresponding documents to allow matters to progress to the next stage,” Porres Luna concludes.