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Pemex Jockeys To Operate Zama Area, But What About Talos Energy?

Pemex’s CEO Octavio Romero Oropeza has announced the company’s desire to operate a large offshore oil area that was discovered by a Talos Energy-led consortium, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

The 2C recoverable resource estimate for the oil in question is 670 million barrels, which is located in the Zama reservoir that spans multiple blocks, and as such, is the subject of a high-stakes debate.

Pemex claims that most of oil riches lie in its block, while Talos claims that according to an independent oil consulting firm, 60% of the oil lies in the private consortium’s block, Block 7, which is directly adjacent to Pemex’s.

Part of Pemex’s argument for wanting to handle the operations of the area, aside from claiming that most of reservoir is in its portion, is that it would bring Zama online quicker than Talos could. 

So far, Talos has drilled a couple exploratory wells in its side, while Pemex has yet to drill any.

According to Romero, Pemex could bring Zama into production in 2021, whereas Talos, Romero alleges, isn’t planning on producing until 2024. Talos, however, provided its own timeline for production earlier this month, setting a first-oil target for 2023.

Nothing will happen, however, until Pemex and Talos reach an agreement on the development plans, which have been ongoing for a year.

In December, Pemex announced another large deposit that could hold 500 million barrels of crude in a 3P reserves. If this estimate is accurate, this would be the largest find in decades.

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Pemex has suffered annual declines in the amount of oil it produces, and is floundering waist deep in $100 billion worth of debt—the highest debt held by any oil company.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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