Russian Oil Company Starts Drilling in MexicoBy Antonio Trujillo | Wed, 08/18/2021 - 13:17
Russian multinational oil company Lukoil announced it has started drilling operations in their first exploration well in the Gulf of Mexico.
The shallow water well is located in the southeastern basins of the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of the state of Tabasco, in an area called Yoti Oeste-1Exp. Lukoil will be working on Block 12, which covers an area of 521 square meters; the company will be drilling at a depth of 207 meters. Operations in the well will be pivotal for decision-making. Geological and geophysical data will provide information that will determine whether operations will continue at the site.
Drilling operations will be made with machinery proven to be successful, more specifically, the Valaris 8505 semi-submersible rig, whose previous work in Block 10 of Sayulita-1EXP well showed satisfactory results. In regards to drilling depth, Lukoil revealed that the exploration will focus on “turbidite deposits of Upper and Lower Miocene.”
The company became single owner of the well back in 2016 through the National Hydrocarbon Commission (CNH); a year later, they were selling a 40 percent stake to ENI and holding onto the remaining 60 percent. Last June, however, saw the final green light from the CNH, estimating Yoti Oeste-1EXP’s potential crude oil barrels at 113 million.
Last July, MBN reported that the company was buying Fieldwood’s 50 percent stake in Mexico’s Project 4, turning them into holders of half the project. At the time, Lukoil considered Mexico “a strategic region for the development of our international upstream operations,” also noting that Project 4 naturally complemented their other various projects in the Gulf and strengthened Lukoil’s commitment to development in Mexico.
Lukoil has had successful findings in Gulf’s exploration wells in the past. At the beginning of the month, Lukoil announced new oil discoveries in the aforementioned Sayulita area of Block 10 with Italian partner company ENI, as reported by MBN. Though increasingly moving away from fossil fuels and into the renewable energy market, ENI’s and Lukoil’s oil and gas development in Mexico still represents one of their most important markets.
Russian multinational Lukoil entered the Mexican market in 2015. Since then, the company has been building an ambitious portfolio in the nation, both independently and alongside long-time partner ENI, with whom it has signed several deals for shared operations.