CNH Approves US$440 Million Boost to Ek-Balam Field
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CNH Approves US$440 Million Boost to Ek-Balam Field

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Karin Dilge By Karin Dilge | Journalist and Industry Analyst - Sat, 08/19/2023 - 04:54

CNH has greenlighted a substantial investment increase of approximately US$440 million in PEMEX's Ek-Balam field development plan in Campeche Bay. This aims at aiding the NOC in covering losses linked to recent incidents, advancing duct network enhancements and amplifying production capabilities.

In a meeting held on Thursday, the commission endorsed the expansion of the Ek-Balam development plan for the 2023-2039 period. The plan's budget has been adjusted from its original US$669 million to a new total of US$1.1 billion. Within this revised plan, almost half of the allocated funds will be allocated toward activities such as drilling initiation, two terminations, construction of seven ducts, undertaking 10 major repairs and addressing 508 minor repairs.

Anticipating the plan's implementation will enable PEMEX to achieve a production milestone of 230MMb of oil and 55MMcf of gas at Mexico's most vital and financially significant contract. According to David Alberto Paredes, representing CNH's technical extraction and supervision unit, PEMEX is striving to recover 3.9MMB of oil and 3.4MMcf of gas between August and December, following a pipeline leak and fire in early July.

On July 26, Octavio Romero, CEO, PEMEX, refuted claims of a significant oil spill contaminating a 400km² area and reaching the coasts of Tabasco and Campeche states. He disclosed that a 7cm crack in a 24km section of the field's pipeline network was identified on July 3 and repaired within 18 days, resulting in a daily loss of 76b. The repair duration was prolonged due to diverted efforts to address a fire at the Nohoch platform in the nearby Cantarell field, which tragically claimed two lives and left one person missing on July 8.

"This situation led to the suspension of post-production activities within the contractual area, directly impacting this year's cumulative production," Paredes explained.

The Ek-Balam field's pipeline infrastructure, having reached its 30-year operational span, is now a focal point for PEMEX’s intensified upgrade endeavors. Ek-Balam is the NOC’s largest and most productive asset, nowadays. The NOC’s aim is to drill eight additional wells, finish eleven existing ones, carry out eight major repairs to operating wells, construction of nine pipelines and a new light marine structure for the extraction of hydrocarbons, among other developments.

In December 2021, Ek-Balam reached its highest production yet, reaching 82.585Mb/d. This volume reduced to 81.986Mb/d in January, representing 49% of the national production via oil contracts.

Photo by:   PEMEX Twitter

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