Pemex visits Aberdeen

April 10, 2017
Executives from Mexico's Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) recently spent 5 days in Aberdeen learning about subsea oil and gas operations.

Executives from Mexico's Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) recently spent 5 days in Aberdeen learning about subsea oil and gas operations.

The Department of International Trade (DIT) organized the trip in partnership with Subsea UK, an oil and gas industry group. Pemex representatives met with GE Oil & Gas, Aker Solutions, Hydrasun, Wood Group, BP PLC, and ROVOP in Aberdeen.

Subsea UK said the trip provided Pemex with an overview of how technology has evolved over the years while exploration and production companies move to harsher, more complex environments to recover oil and gas.

Delegates received a UK subsea perspective while studying oil and gas subsea development, operations, and decommissioning worldwide.

"Mexico has the potential to be one of the fastest-growing oil and gas provinces in the world," said Neil Gordon, Subsea UK chief executive. "This visit to Aberdeen builds on the already close ties between our two countries."

Gordon sees "huge opportunities for collaboration" given Mexico's energy goals and UK industry's offshore expertise. Energy reforms have opened Mexico's offshore oil and gas to international companies after all of Mexico's oil and gas was closed to foreign investments for decades.

In December 2016, Mexico hosted its first deepwater auction for its side of the Gulf of Mexico. Eight of 10 blocks received bids. Separately, BHP won a bid to jointly develop deepwater Trion with Pemex.

Analysts estimate most of Mexico's exploration projects could take 10 years to produce after a discovery. The exploration process would take several years before that.


BHP Billiton successfully bid on Trion, which could become one of the top 10 fields discovered in the gulf in the last decade. Pemex executives said they looked for an experienced deepwater player to share development costs at Trion, which they called complex.

BHP, which holds 60% interest, agreed to a minimum work program that includes drilling one appraisal well, one exploration well, and seismic data acquisition.

The two companies have been working to share expertise since 2014 when BHP Billiton and Pemex signed a memorandum of understanding and cooperation.

Deepwater bidding

Separately, an international consortium led by Chevron Corp. signed an exploration contract with Mexico's National Hydrocarbons Commission for Perdido basin Block 3 in the deepwater gulf offered during Mexico's Phase 4 of Round 1.

Chevron's Mexico subsidiary is the operator. Partners are Pemex Exploration & Production and Inpex Corp. Each holds 33% interest.

Perdido Fold Belt Block 3 is in 1,640-5,575 ft of water. The consortium plans an initial, multiyear exploration phase.

In other offshore bidding, Total SA was the high bidder to operate Block 2 in the Perdido basin with 50% interest. ExxonMobil Corp. also holds 50% interest in the block covering 1,149 sq miles in 7,546-11,811 ft of water.

Total, Statoil, and BP PLC are equal partners on Salina basin Block 1, covering 1,093 sq miles. The group also was high bidder on Salina basin Block 3, covering 1,269 sq miles.

Meanwhile, a recent US central Gulf of Mexico lease sale attracted nearly $275 million in total high bids compared with $156 million from a comparable lease sale held in 2016. UBS analyst Amy Wong wrote in an investors note that the bidding interest from companies "is an early sign that offshore exploration and production spend is likely to come back."

About the Author

Paula Dittrick | Senior Staff Writer

Paula Dittrick has covered oil and gas from Houston for more than 20 years. Starting in May 2007, she developed a health, safety, and environment beat for Oil & Gas Journal. Dittrick is familiar with the industry’s financial aspects. She also monitors issues associated with carbon sequestration and renewable energy.

Dittrick joined OGJ in February 2001. Previously, she worked for Dow Jones and United Press International. She began writing about oil and gas as UPI’s West Texas bureau chief during the 1980s. She earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska in 1974.