New Oil Discoveries Offshore Mexico

The consortium partners Repsol (30%, operator) PC Carigali Mexico Operations, the Mexican subsidiary of PETRONAS (28.33%), Wintershall DEA (25%) and PTTEP México E&P Limited (16.67%) announced significant oil discoveries on the Polok and the Chinwol prospects in Block 29 offshore Mexico. Polok is a play opening discovery within the Early Miocene reservoir of the Salina Basin (part of the Sureste Basin), whereas Chinwol encountered oil in formations of the Pliocene.

The consortium will evaluate all data collected in the wells to prepare the discoveries’ appraisal plan, to be submitted to Mexico’s hydrocarbons regulator CNH before the end of the year.

With these finds Repsol has posted six discoveries from six wells drilled worldwide this year, uncovering combined gross resources in excess of 650Mboe, in the US, Mexico and Colombia.

The discoveries extend Repsol’s long-term exploration track record in Latin America and North America. Repsol applies the latest-generation tools and technology in this field, combined with the skills of an experienced exploration workforce.

Both wells in Mexico were drilled below their cost and time estimations with the highest standards for health and safety and under strict health protocols to avoid the propagation of Covid-19 to both offshore and onshore facilities.

“These are breakthrough discoveries, confirming the materiality and quality of Wintershall Dea’s exploration license portfolio in the Sureste Basin. They emphasize Mexico’s importance as one of Wintershall Dea’s key target regions for growth globally,” Hugo Dijkgraaf, Wintershall Dea Chief Technology Officer and Executive Board member responsible for global exploration, said.

Polok and Chinwol are the first announced discoveries from a block, awarded in Mexico’s deep water round 2.4. in 2018.

“This is a great success. We have had a strong belief that discoveries like these could be made here. The Polok and Chinwol discoveries are a strong evidence of the oil potential of the Salina Basin. Opening a new play there, we are confident to further unlocking additional resources in Block 29 and the wider Wintershall Dea license portfolio. We are well positioned and looking forward contributing to the development of Mexico’s oil and gas sector,” Juan Manuel Delgado, Managing Director for Wintershall Dea’s Mexican business, pointed out.

The Polok-1 exploration well was drilled to a total depth of 2,620 meters and encountered more than 200 meters of net oil pay from two zones in the lower Miocene.

The Chinwol-1 exploration well was drilled to a total depth of 1,850 meters and encountered 150 meters of net oil pay from three zones in the lower Pliocene.

The discoveries in Mexico’s Block 29 are 88 kilometers from the Mexican coastline of Tabasco and approximately 50 kilometers west-northwest of the world class Zama discovery, where Wintershall Dea holds a significant stake of 40%. The wells were drilled in water depths of 500 to 600 meters. The discoveries are just 12 kilometers apart from each other.

The reservoirs show excellent petrophysical properties. An intensive data collection has been carried out in both wells, including a total of 108 meters of core. The license partnership will work on potential appraisal measures and development options for the Polok and Chinwol discoveries, taking into account current market conditions.


About Block 29

  • Location: Salina Basin (part of the Sureste Basin), offshore Mexico
  • Discoveries: Polok and Chinwol
  • Distance to shore: 88 kilometers
  • Distance to Zama discovery: 50 kilometers
  • Water depth: 500 – 600 meters below sea level


Deep waters

The discoveries in Mexico’s Block 29 are just 12 km apart from each other, and 88 kilometers (55 miles) from the Mexican coastline of Tabasco, in water depths of approximately 600 meters (1,969 feet).

The Polok-1 exploration well was drilled to a total depth of 2,620 meters and encountered more than 200 meters of net oil pay from two zones in the lower Miocene. The Chinwol-1 exploration well was drilled to a total depth of 1,850 meters and encountered more than 150 meters of net oil pay from three zones in the lower Pliocene.

Wireline Formation testing performed on both wells has shown good flow capacity in multiple stations along the Miocene and Pliocene reservoir units.

Repsol recently received approval from the CNH to drill the company’s third deep water exploration well offshore Mexico, located in Block 10 offshore Veracruz, which will be spudded in the following days using the same Maersk Deep Water Valiant drillship.


Repsol in Mexico

Repsol operates a total of six blocks offshore Mexico, three in deep water and three in shallow water areas. The company continues to evaluate all seismic and available data from the rest of the blocks in order to fulfill its work programs approved by CNH.

The company also has a retail fuel business in the country, which it has been expanding since 2018. Repsol has 250 service stations, where it retails fuel with its exclusive Neotech formulation, designed at its Tech Lab installations. The company also participates in logistic installations to store and distribute fuel around the country of 120 million inhabitants.

Additionally, Repsol has a long-term alliance with Mexico’s Kuo Group. The partners together operate the world’s tenth-largest synthetic rubber producer.

Repsol also participates in a lubricants joint venture with local manufacturer Bardahl, distributing high-end products throughout Latin America.


Wintershall Dea in Mexico

In Mexico, Wintershall Dea operates the producing onshore Ogarrio oil field, in partnership with Pemex. Furthermore, Wintershall Dea and its partners in Block 7 are currently assessing development options for the already appraised Zama discovery.

Wintershall Dea holds shares in ten exploration blocks in the Sureste and Tampico Misantla Basins, of which three as operator.

Wintershall Dea is Europe’s leading independent natural gas and oil company with more than 120 years of experience as an operator and project partner along the entire E&P value chain. The company with German roots and headquarters in Kassel and Hamburg explores for and produces gas and oil in 13 countries worldwide in an efficient and responsible manner. With activities in Europe, Russia, Latin America and the MENA region (Middle East & North Africa), Wintershall Dea has a global upstream portfolio and, with its participation in natural gas transport, is also active in the midstream business.

Wintershall Dea was formed from the merger of Wintershall Holding GmbH and DEA Deutsche Erdoel AG, in 2019. Today, the company employs around 2,800 people worldwide from over 60 nations.

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