Mexico sells rights to 19 offshore oil fields for over $500 million

02 February 2018, 12:03 | Andres Norman

Chevron makes major oil discovery in Ballymore prospect in US

Royal Dutch Shell's Perdido deep water platform is set to begin oil production in early 2010. Credit Royal Dutch Shell

Shell took five contracts in the promising Perdido Fold belt, not far from its own recent finds on the USA continental shelf. French oil and gas major Total through its subsidiary Total E&P U.S. holds the remaining stake of 40% in the offshore prospect.

Royal Dutch Shell RDSa.L snapped up nine of 19 oil and gas blocks awarded in Mexico's prized Gulf of Mexico deep waters, emerging the clear victor in the country's biggest auction since the energy sector was opened up to foreign oil firms.

The company revealed that now a sidetrack well is being drilled to further evaluate the Ballymore discovery and to start chalking out development options.

Shell was also a big victor in an oil auction for blocks in Brazil's deepwater in October, snapping up three blocks in the presalt region in the country's Atlantic waters. "This is excellent news for Mexico and is a strong commitment for Shell in Mexico". The Shell group expects its global deep-water production to exceed 900,000 boe per day by 2020, from already discovered, established areas.

Shell now has three deepwater Gulf projects under construction - Appomattox, Kaikias, and Coulomb Phase 2 - as well as investment options for Vito, a potential new hub in the region.

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A sidetrack well is now ongoing to confirm the upside potential. "We are a big player in deep water worldwide". It also demonstrates all the interest of Total's GoM farm-in agreement with Chevron, where we acquired a 40% interest in Ballymore.

The agreement covers 16 deepwater blocks, spanning two promising plays and areas with one of them being Wilcox, located near the Anchor discovery and the other being Norphlet, near the Appomattox discovery.

Drilling at the Ballymore prospect began in late July 2017 and was carried out by Pacific Drilling's Sharav deepwater drillship.

"Ballymore is the largest discovery by Total in the prolific Gulf of Mexico and bolsters our new exploration strategy put in place since 2015", said Kevin McLachlan, Senior Vice President Exploration at Total.



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