TotalEnergies Relinquishes Part of Exploration Area in Campeche
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TotalEnergies Relinquishes Part of Exploration Area in Campeche

Photo by:   C Morrison ,, Pixabay,
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Anmol Motwani By Anmol Motwani | Journalist & Industry Analyst - Thu, 05/11/2023 - 14:07

TotalEnergies returns a portion of its exploration area off the coast of Campeche, Mexico. The company was exploring Cuencas del Sureste and returned just over 485km2 of the 971.56 km² it was assigned.

CNH has approved TotalEnergies’s request to begin the early termination process for part of its exploration and production contract, which means that the company will be reducing its activities in the Gulf of Mexico and returning a portion of the area it currently holds under contract CNH-R02-L01-A15.CS/2017. 

Luis Enrique López, Executive, Assignments and Contracts Legal Unit, explained that the decision to relinquish was not due to any technical issue or risk associated with the area, geological characteristics or potential profitability. "It was derived from an obligation that the contractor had as the initial exploration period concluded. However, an additional period was granted, and the contractor was bound by contractual issues to return 50% of the contractual area,” says López.

The initial exploration period for TotalEnergies' contract in the Cuencas del Sureste oil province ended on April 5, 2023, but the company entered an additional exploration period that was to expire on April 6, 2025. However, on April 10, the company informed CNH about its plans to return a portion of the area.

According to CNH, the firm has not explored any wells in the area it holds under contract. Instead, the company has completed 2,771 out of 38,800 work units, which make up the Minimum Work Program for the entire contractual area.

CNH decreased the company’s participation in the CNH-R02-L01-A15.CS/2017 contract from 50% to 35%. As part of this agreement, the remaining 15% participation interest was transferred to Overseas Petroleum and Investment Corp. (Opicoil).

Nonetheless, the decision poses concerns about potential environmental and safety risks because these wells could potentially leak oil and gas, causing damage to marine life and human health. According to CNH, 14,000 wells in the Gulf of Mexico have been abandoned since the start of exploration activities in the region. 

Photo by:   C Morrison ,, Pixabay,

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