Image credits: Twitter @CNH_MX
News Article

CNH Approves Exploration Plans; CRE Approves Permits

By Perla Velasco | Wed, 11/23/2022 - 15:52

The National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH) approved exploration plans for TotalEnergies, Eni, Repsol and Shell. For TotalEnergies, CNH approved its 2022 Work Plan and budget, as well as authorization to explore the area CNH-R03-L01-AS-CS-06/2018. The area is located within the Southeast Basins and functions as a shared production modality. Meanwhile, CRE released 43 permits for the marketing of diesel and gasoline.

Due to a backlog, TotalEnergies’ plan approval was delayed. While a commissioner questioned the late delivery of the plan, another commissioner mentioned that the contractor made mistakes in the calculation of some costs. Due to operational setbacks, the company had to carry out geophysical, geological, drilling, safety and environmental activities, which increased its budget. Therefore, CNH had to approve a new budget of US$17.33 million, US$3.2 million more than scheduled. From the new budget, around 53 percent will be used for drilling activities.

CNH approved Eni’s 2023 Work Plan and its exploration plans for the area CNH-R03-L01-G-CS-01/2018. The field is located 45km northeast of Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz. CNH approved Eni’s budget for 2023, standing at US$118.78 million. The regulator also approved its 2023  plan for the CNH-R02-L01-A10.CS/2017 area near the coast of Tabasco. For this project, CNH approved a budget of US$160,000, and 84 percent of it will be for security and environmental issues.

For Repsol, the CNH approved its US$520,000 exploration plans for the area CNH-R03-L01-G-BG-07/2018, off the coast of Tamaulipas.

CNH also approved Shell’s plans for drilling a deepwater well in Itzcali-1 SON in the area CNH-R02-L04-AP-PG-06/2018 in Tamaulipas. The company projects to find a reserve of 247MMboe.

CRE recently released 43 permits for selling gasoline and diesel. The regulator has been struggling to release permits on the back of the pandemic, with some requests being put on hold for 24 months. CRE had more than 900 permits on hold. From January to September 2022, CRE released 300 permits to service stations, a 275 percent year-over-year increase. Fifty percent of the permits were approved this September. With the addition of the 43 permits, the CRE has approved more than 400 permits this 2022, a great increase in comparison to last year’s 114 permits.

Last week, Reuters reported the possibility of the CRE approving 200 permits before the end of the year, heralding an end to the problems that COVID-19 has wrought in its regulatory processes. Amid the consultation process started by the US and Canada under the USMCA, faster permitting may be a way for Mexico to appease its northern trade partners.

Photo by:   Twitter @CNH_MX
Perla Velasco Perla Velasco Journalist and Industry Analyst