News Article

Eni Makes Discovery in Mexican Shallow Waters

By Peter Appleby | Mon, 02/17/2020 - 13:45

Italian oil company Eni today announced its discovery of the Saasken Exploration Prospect in Block 10, located in the Cuenca Salina area of the Sureste Basin, some 65km from the coast of Tabasco. The company has reported that the discovery could contain between 200MMboe and 300MMboe.

The discovery was made with the drilling of the Saasken-1 NFW well, carried out by the Valaris 8505 semi-submersible. The well drilling, the sixth that Eni has performed in the Sureste, took place at a water depth of 340m and reached a final drilling depth of 3,830m.

Eni has reported that the newly discovered reservoir shows excellent petrophysical properties and could hit a production capacity of 10Mb/d. The company also noted that the discovery provides strong commercial potential for nearby prospects, which can now be clustered for combined development.

Block 10, which Eni won in the shallow water Round 2.1, is owned by a consortium made up of Eni as operator (65% stake), Russian oil giant Lukoil (20%) and the UK’s Capricorn Energy (15%) and is one of a number of interests Eni has in Mexico.

In 2019, Eni made history by becoming the first private oil company to begin offshore production in Mexico since the Energy Reform permitted the entry of international players into the oil and gas industry. The importance of this moment was underlined when Mexico’s President López Obrador, a staunch critic of the reform, received Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi at his office in Mexico City. Production came from the Miztón field, one of the three fields in Eni’s Area 1 (the others being Amoca and Tecoalli), which currently produces some 15Mb/d and is expected to plateau at a production level of 100MMb/d in 2021. According to Eni estimates, Area 1 holds 2.1 billion boe, of which 90 percent is oil.

Eni invested some US$475 million (approx. MX$8.8 billion) into exploration and development of its offshore fields in Mexico during 2019, while the final CAPEX cost of Area 1 alone is expected to reach US$1.9 billion (approx. MX$35.2 billion). The company describes Mexico as a “core country in Eni’s strategy for future organic growth” and has maintained a presence in the country since its arrival in 2006.

Peter Appleby Peter Appleby Journalist and Industry Analyst