Field/project development

Pemex, Talos File Development Plan for Mexico’s Zama Field

The massive offshore field inches closer to first production with the filing of the unit development plan with Mexican regulators.

Source: Talos Energy

Mexican state oil company Pemex and a consortium led by Houston-based independent Talos Energy delivered the unit development plan (UDP) for the Zama shallow-water conventional oil development offshore Tabasco, Mexico, to National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH) on 23 March, Pemex said.

The plan includes two offshore fixed platforms and the drilling of 46 dry-tree wells, with oil and gas transported to new facilities at the Pemex-operated Terminal Maritima Dos Bocas, according to Pemex and Talos.

Development of the 850-million-bbl field is shared by Pemex, Talos, and its consortium partners London-based Harbor Energy and Germany’s Wintershall DEA.

"The Zama Unit holders have also finalized agreements for oil and gas marketing and facilities use based on globally recognized market indices and terms consistent with international best practices. Front-end engineering and design work is expected to continue while awaiting UDP approval from CNH, expected within the next 6 months, allowing for a subsequent final investment decision (FID) to be made after all regulatory approvals are obtained," Talos said.

Zama will be developed to reach a production of up to 180,000 B/D of oil between 24 °API and 27 °API. This represents about 10% of the country's current oil production, Pemex said.

“The production of hydrocarbons will consist of 94% of excellent quality oil,” it added.

An integrated project team (IPT) was formed to manage project delivery and operations during the construction phase. The IPT is designed to provide technical, operational, and execution expertise, leveraging the talents from each of the Zama Unit holders. The IPT will report to the Zama Unit Operating Committee, which includes representatives from each of the companies, Talos said.

Talos, together with Pemex, Wintershall Dea, and Harbour, will co-lead different work groups within the IPT. Talos and Pemex will co-lead the planning, drilling, construction, and completion of all Zama wells and co-lead the planning, execution, and delivery of Zama's offshore infrastructure. Talos, Pemex, and Wintershall Dea will co-lead the project management office, it added.

"Today's announcements represent an important step in moving the Zama project forward. The UDP provides an efficient development plan that we expect to advance this discovery to first production," said Timothy S. Duncan, Talos president and chief executive.

"Separately, the IPT provides important roles for each of the Zama Unit holders, a structure which we believe best leverages the talents of each organization and optimizes project governance. We understand the importance of this project to Mexico and look forward to continuing our collaboration as we look towards formal approval and to advance the project to FID," he added.

The field, discovered by Talos in 2017, is located in Block 7 of the Sureste Basin. It was the country’s first offshore discovery made by a private-sector company after the constitutional reforms that opened development of Mexico’s hydrocarbons to foreign investment.

The reform came under former President Enrique Pena Nieto; however, current President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador suspended bidding for oilfield concessions when he entered office in 2018.

Talos lost operatorship of the field in 2022 following the final unitization resolution from Mexico’s Ministry of Energy, affirming the appointment of Pemex as the operator of the unit.

As per the Unitisation Resolution from March 2022, initial participating interests are Pemex 50.4%, Talos 17.4%, Wintershall Dea 19.8%, and Harbour 12.4%.