PEMEX Claims Majority of Zama ResourcesBy Pedro Alcalá | Fri, 05/21/2021 - 15:33
PEMEX reports that a third-party study has determined that the majority of hydrocarbon resources available at the Zama reservoir belongs to the NOC. This claim was made in PEMEX´s recent report to the SEC, which states that this study was made back in November of last year, and that it granted them 50.43 percent of Zama’s resources within the limits of their Uchukil field. The remaining 49.57 percent belongs to Talos Energy, the American operator who originally discovered the reservoir when exploring their Block 7, which borders Uchukil, reports Oil & Gas Magazine.
Over a year ago, SENER dictated the need for PEMEX and Talos to arrive at a final unitization agreement for this reservoir that would determine the legally binding distribution of its known available resources. The deadline for this agreement was March 26, 2021. In 2020, Talos Energy quoted an independent study by Netherland, Sewell & Associates, Inc. (NSAI) which determined that Zama held a total of 670MMboe and that a little over half of that was within Talos’ contractual assignments from Block 7. Specifically, the study established that Talos has 59.6 percent of these resources and PEMEX has 40.4 percent. For more information read our latest interview with Talos CEO Timothy Duncan here.
Despite the study, the deadline for the unitization passed without a final agreement. Under SENER’s conditions, the passing of the deadline means that now it has the power to determine under which terms the reservoir will be operated. One way in which PEMEX can prove its majority stake over these resources is through the drilling of the delimiting well Asab-1DEL. This well was approved by CNH back in February 2018, and was scheduled to be drilled in 2020, but has been delayed indefinitely for indeterminate reasons.
Duncan has already responded to this claim in a statement to Oil & Gas Magazine, where he said that he remains committed to working towards a fair final agreement with both PEMEX and SENER. He said the third party study that PEMEX is quoting “underestimates some of the more relevant data that was unearthed during the field’s evaluation campaign.” Meanwhile, El Heraldo de México reports that Talos’ investments in Mexico decreased 79 percent during 2020, corresponding to a reduction of US$130 million, from US$165 million invested in 2019 to just US$35 million in 2020.