Over a decade after its discovery, the Trion ultra-deepwater field in the Gulf of Mexico will be developed following the CNH’s approval of Woodside and PEMEX´s plan proposal. This marks the first development plan for the extraction of an oil field in ultra-deep waters in Mexico, representing a significant learning and technology transfer opportunity for PEMEX, according to CNH Commissioner, Héctor Moreira.
The Trion field was discovered by PEMEX Exploration and Production (PEP) in 2012. However, development was put on hold due to the substantial investment required, along with technological capacity limitations. Now, in partnership with Australian Woodside, both entities anticipate the oil production by 2028. Trion's prospects include substantial hydrocarbon production, with estimates projecting a peak output of 110Mb/d of oil and 101MMcf/d of gas.
This follows the successful approval of their US$10.43 billion joint development plan: a meticulous strategy tailored to the field's characteristics and sustained operability, as evaluated by CNH. Furthermore, this milestone will contribute to an increased understanding of the subsurface, facilitating additional development activities in the Perdido Fold Belt, a region presently characterized by the presence of exploratory assignments or contracts, emphasizing the strategic importance of this forward-looking initiative.
Meg O’Neill, CEO, Woodside, stated that the company is enthusiastic about executing "this important project with PEMEX and [other] stakeholders." Woodside detailed that the project's execution phase activities are progressing, with significant progress made in securing key contracts related to development.
In terms of numerical potential, the Trion deepwater field holds remarkable significance. Woodside reported recording gross proved undeveloped reserves totaling 324.7MMboe. Of these, the Australian IOC holds 194.8MMboe. When factoring in probable undeveloped reserves, the site's total reaches 478.7MMboe, with Woodside's share accounting for 287.2MMboe. To realize the field´s full potential, the project will employ a floating production unit (FPU) with an oil production capacity of 100M/d. This FPU will be connected to a floating storage and offloading (FSO) vessel capable of storing up to 950Mb.
According to CNH projections, the estimated volume of hydrocarbons to be recovered during the contract's validity period from 2023 to 2052 is approximately 434MMb of oil and 790Bcf of gas. Of this gas volume, 570Bcf will be reinjected into the reservoir, leaving 219Bcf planned for sale and self-consumption. Collectively, Trion is one of the most interesting projects presented to the commission, says Moreira. Its projected production of 110Mb/d and 101MMcf/d will generate an income of MX$80 billion (US$47.7 billion) for the Mexican government.
Néstor Martínez, CNH Commissioner, emphasized that this marks Mexico's inaugural development plan for ultra-deepwaters in the Gulf of Mexico, a notable distinction considering the numerous projects in the US. This presents Mexico with a unique opportunity to elevate exploration efforts within the region.