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News Article

CNH Approves PEMEX Exploratory Drilling in Veracruz, Tabasco

By Conal Quinn | Fri, 05/27/2022 - 10:09

This week, CNH authorized PEMEX to carry out exploratory drilling in Veracruz and Tabasco as part of the NOC’s efforts to replenish its oil and gas reserves.

One of the approvals involves the shallow-water well Popoca- 1EXP, off the coast of Tabasco. The project falls under an existing exploration plan approved by the CNH on July 1, 2021 under Resolution CNH.E.47.001/2021, corresponding to Assignment AE-0149-M-UCHUKIL. PEMEX will drill through Cretaceous and Late Jurassic layers, targeting the Kimmeridgian stratum in particular. Drilling will reach a total depth of 7,340m following a vertical trajectory. PEMEX hopes to encounter prospective resources of 68MMboe of light oil, of an API gravity between 38.9° and 39.3°. 

The probability of geological success has been put at 25 percent and once developed, Popoca-1EXP could serve as a major boon to the NOC’s dwindling 3P reserves. Drilling and completion are scheduled to take 221 days in total, including 161 days for drilling from June 16 to Nov. 23, 2022 and 60 days for completion, from August 3 to  August 22, 2022, with a further 6 days set aside for decommissioning.

Meanwhile in Veracruz, PEMEX is set to commence drilling at the Chawila-1DEL onshore well following a seal of approval from the CNH. The Chawila-1DEL well falls under the base scenario of the evaluation program of resolution CNH.E.30.008/2022 dated April 7, 2022, which originates from the discovery of the Chawila-1EXP well that corresponds to Assignment AE0175-M-Chuyan. 

The objective of drilling the Chawila-1DEL well is to confirm the continuity of the reservoir in the Tamabra formation in the Middle Cretaceous at its northern point, as well as establishing the horizontal and vertical limits of the reservoir. Furthermore, the project is intended to prove the future commercial viability of the site by providing more certainty to the estimated volume of hydrocarbons. The well will follow a Type J directional trajectory and will be drilled to a total depth of between 1,979 and 2,071 vertical meters. According to CNH, the hydrocarbon expected to be recovered is light oil, while PEMEX hopes to obtain resources of 35MMboe. The probability of geological success is 50 percent. Drilling and completion programs for the project are due to last a total of 66 days, of which 34 days will be allocated to drilling from June 11 to July 15, 2022 and 32 days to completion from Aug. 4 to Sept. 5, 2022.

CNH also authorized PEMEX to drill the onshore exploratory well Chuyan-1EXP, considered part of the exploration plan base scenario associated with the assignment AE-0175-M-Chuyan, approved under resolution CNH.E.32. The geological objective of the well targets the Middle Cretaceous of the El Abra Lagunar formation. Drilling will follow a vertical trajectory to a total depth of 1,525 vertical meters, where PEMEX expects to find in the heavy oil of 17 °API. Prospective resources at average risk are estimated at 13.6MMboe, with a 34 percent probability of geological success. The estimated time-scale set for drilling and completion has been put at 51 days: 24 days for drilling from June 23 to July 17, 2022 and a further 27 for completion from Aug. 7 to Sept. 3, 2022.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
Energy and Commerce, BN Americas, Oil and Gas Magazine, Gobierno de México, Reportacero
Photo by:   @Pemex
Conal Quinn Conal Quinn Journalist & Industry Analyst