Shell, Murphy Eye Fresh Mexican Gulf Wildcats

Operators seek deepwater reserves on the Mexican side of the Gulf of Mexico.

Maersk Voyager.
Maersk Voyager.

Shell is preparing to drill an exploration test in the Salina basin in offshore Mexico. According to Mexican hydrocarbons regulator CNH, the supermajor intends to spud the Jokol-1EXP wildcat in Block 28 starting in January 2023. The operator plans to use drillship Maersk Voyager for the work. The rig has been drilling the Zanderij-1 probe in Block 42 offshore Suriname and is expected to depart for Mexico soon.

The Jokol-1EXP well is set to test a prospective light-oil reservoir at final depth of around 5586 m. The wellsite is roughly 40 km southwest of the Tamha-1EXP well.

Meanwhile, Murphy Oil is drilling ahead on the deepwater Tulum-1EXP, where it hopes to tap 150 million BOE in reserves off the coast of Tabasco. The operator’s Mexican subsidiary, Murphy Sur, received authorization from CNH earlier this year.

Murphy will use the Valaris DPS-5 semisubmersible to target lower Miocene and Oligocene formations and is drilling Tulum-1EXP as a deviated well to a depth of 5569 m.

Tulum-1EXP is the second exploratory well of the Block 5 consortium led by Murphy Sur (40%), with partners PC Carigali Mexico Operations, Petronas’ Mexican subsidiary, and Wintershall Dea holding 30% each. Block 5 is in the center of the highly touted Salina Basin, a deepwater area in Mexico with significant hydrocarbon potential.