Murphy Oil Fails to Find Hydrocarbons in Salina Basin
Early January 2023, Murphy Oil reported its failure in striking commercial hydrocarbons after concluding drilling in offshore Block 5 in Mexico’s Salina Basin. The company started drilling exploration wells in 2022.
According to the company’s website, Murphy Oil holds a 40% working interest in the field, with Petronas and Wintershall Dea each owning a 30% working interest.
CNH, Mexico’s upstream oil and gas regulator, awarded the Block 5 area to a Murphy-led consortium in 2016. The field is in the center of the highly touted Salina Basin, a deepwater area marked by significant hydrocarbon potential due to recent discoveries.
The company’s Tulum-1EXP plan was part of a base scenario in the CNH-approved Exploration Plan amendment. According to Upstream Online, the company anticipated Tulum-1EXP to have a mean to upward gross resource potential of 150MMboe to 350MMboe, as it aspired to boost its reserves and production.
“The Tulum well has become the top-ranking prospect of the new subsalt play. It will be our first test, though we have various other opportunities lined up that would add greatly to Murphy’s resource potential compared to the Miocene play,” said Gabriel Gomez, Country Manager Mexico, Murphy Oil to MBN in March 2022.
Furthermore, successful exploration efforts at the Salina Basin could have meant more follow-on drilling opportunities by opening up a new Lower Miocene exploitation zone.
Murphy Oil is an independent exploration and production company with an advanced portfolio of projects, onshore in the US and Canada and offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. Production is split into three areas, including the unconventional onshore US-based Eagle Ford Shale, where the company produced 36.4Mboe/d in 2Q22, comprised of 72 percent oil volumes and 86 percent of liquids volumes. Murphy also produces from two onshore unconventional plays in Canada: Tupper Montney, which produced 275MMcf/d in 2Q22, and Kaybob Duvernay, which produced 7.3Mboe/d. Finally, in the US Gulf of Mexico’s deepwater, Murphy is the fifth largest producer with 70.2Mboe/d in 2Q22.
Murphy has a strong global presence in exploration, with an estimated 1 billion boe of risked mean resources and more than 24,000km² across the Gulf of Mexico, offshore Mexico, Brazil and Vietnam. Murphy’s oil production by 2Q22 was equivalent to 163Mboe/d.