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News Article

CNH Extends Exploration Period for Total, Pantera

ByConal Quinn |Thu, 06/09/2022 - 17:49

CNH has granted more time to TotalEnergies and Jaguar to explore their respective shallow water and onshore blocks. The regulatory body authorized an extension of the initial exploration period to TotalEnergies with respect to contract CNH-R02-L01-A15.CS/2017 and Jaguar for contract CNH-R02-L02-A7-BG/2017.

For Total, the regulatory body granted authorization to extend the initial exploration period a further six months for a shallow water contract concerning a 971.56 km² area located off the coast of Campeche. Total’s request was authorized in light of operational and technical issues following the restructuring of the block’s consortium and the departure of one of the contractors. Due to the nature of the production sharing contract, CNH deemed these hindrances to be external factors that have slowed down the initial plan as set out by Total. Specializing in ultra-deepwater exploration, the French supermajor operates sites reaching over 3km in depth. In Feb. 2022, Total consolidated its position as Mexico’s leading deepwater E&P company, when they took over BP and Equinor’s shares in contract NH-R01-L04-A1.CS/2016, located in the Salina Sureste basin, to gain full equity. 

Meanwhile, Pantera’s contract CNH-R02-L02-A7-BG/2017 concerns an onshore site with an area of 445km², spanning the communities of Matamoros and Valle Hermoso in Tamaulipas. Once again, the industry regulator granted Pantera a 90-day extension considering what it deemed to be delays not attributable to the operator. This allowed the consortium, a joint venture between Mexican company Jaguar E&P and Canadian oil and gas exploration and production firm Sun God Resources, to conclude its activities.

For extensions to be made to existing plans, operators must apply to CNH, showing they have abided by the applicable regulations stipulated in the contract. For example, clause 17.1 sets out a minimum-work target companies must meet in order to retain control over a site. However, most of these contracts were signed in a pre-pandemic world and certain challenges, such as interruptions in supply chains, have proven insurmountable. Therefore, CNH has been more lenient of late, becoming a valuable asset to private sector E&P companies, especially those engaged in offshore operations by making its regulatory procedures more agile and adaptable. In the past month, Shell, Eni and PC Carigali (Petronas’ Mexican subsidiary) have all benefited from modifications approved by CNH to their initial exploration plans.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
Energy and Commerce, BN Americas, Oil and Gas Magazine, CNH, Excelsior
Photo by:   Jaguar Press Room
Conal Quinn Conal Quinn Journalist & Industry Analyst