The National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH) has now issued what appear to be the last exploration plan approvals of 2021 during their 93rd Extraordinary Session. Companies receiving their approvals in this instance included PEMEX, Jaguar E&P and Grupo Carso. A recording of the entire session is available here, while a video summary is available here.
The first item in CNH’s agenda was the approval of the NOC’s exploration plan for the Limonaria field, located 112km northwest of Poza Rica, Veracruz, in the onshore basin known as Tampico Misantla. The plan calls for up to 16 exploration studies that combine seismic acquisition and processing of 2D and 3D data, along with the drilling of up to three wells. The plan contemplates a base investment of US$9 million that could increase to up to US$30 million if incremental potential is encountered. Commissioner Alma América Porres noted that Limonaria represented “the highest potential of unconventional resources in Mexico” and both her and Commissioner Héctor Moreira agreed that, regardless of the government’s policy toward unconventional production and fracking, this exploration plan should seek to confirm potential through the extraction of relevant core samples.
Another important item in the session’s agenda was the approval of extensions to the exploration plans of two blocks, 12 and 13, operated by Carso Oil & Gas, subsidiary of Carlos Slim’s Grupo Carso. The plans were submitted under the generic company names “Operadora Bloque 12” and “Operadora Bloque 13”. Both are onshore blocks located in the state of Veracruz. The request called for a two-year extension on the initial exploration contracts’ minimum work requirements, equivalent to the drilling of one well per block. Said request was approved.
The third item was the approval of an extension to the exploration plans of Pantera Exploración y Producción, a joint venture between Jaguar E&P and Canadian oil and gas exploration and production firm Sun God Resources. The request calls for a two-year extension to the operator’s initial exploration plans for an onshore block located in the Burgos basin, between the states of Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas, which has so far demonstrated the presence of eight oil and gas fields: Ecatl, Fiton, Fósil, Granaditas, Ita, Pipila, Rusco and Ternero. This request was also approved after the commitment to drill an additional well was made by the operator. Commissioners considered the session to be successful given the fact that these extension requests reflected a continuing interest from operators who could have otherwise chosen to request their right to return the blocks after finding nothing of enough interest throughout their exploration campaigns.