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Pemex kills Nobilis-Maximino farm-out

Written by  Sunday, 10 December 2017 23:00

Mexico’s state-owned firm Pemex has canceled its tender for the Nobilis-Maximino farm-out that was scheduled to coincide with the country’s next deepwater round (2.4) in January.

Juan Carlos Zepeda, president commissioner, CNH, speaks at the Pemex Farm-out day event in July 2017. Photos from Pemex Flickr.

Pemex blamed a number of factors for what it said was a “less than robust” interest in the farm-out, including the geological complexity at Nobilis-Maximino coupled with the current oil price environment. Pemex also stated that it believes the recent Brazilian pre-salt rounds negatively affected interest in Nobilis-Maximino.

The pre-emptive cancellation follows a previous unsuccessful offshore farm-out for the shallow water Ayin-Batsil, where no bids were received in October this year. Pemex was successful in its first deepwater farm-out for the Trion block, where it partnered with BHP Billiton in December 2016.

“Unlike the Trion block, the deposits of the Nobilis-Maximino block have greater geological complexity, more gas content and a water depth of more than 3000m,” Pemex said in an 8 December statement. “These factors imply greater investments to extract hydrocarbons, so the equilibrium price is higher than the area in question.”

Map from Pemex.

At a “farm-out day” road show in Houston earlier this year, Pemex discussed the Nobilis-Maximino prospect, which sits in 3000m water depth in the Perdido Fold Basin, adjacent to previous discoveries Trion (40km away) and Great White (26km away). A total of nine wells have been drilled on the Nobilis-Maximino. Maximino was drilled first in 2013, with Nobilis following in 2016. The 1524sq km Nobilis-Maximino area has 3P reserves of 502 MMboe of light oil, and estimated production of 300,000 b/d.

The company said that it will continue to promote the partnership strategy at other fields that present “less technical difficulties and lower risks.”

Mexico’s National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH) told Reuters that the cancellation of the Nobilis-Maximino farm-out does not affect industry interest in the upcoming deepwater round, scheduled for 31 January.

News of the cancellation comes two weeks after Pemex announced the installation of new CEO Carlos Alberto Trevino Medina, who replaced CEO José Antonio González Anaya, who was chosen by Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto to head the treasury (Ministry of Finance and Public Credit). The outgoing head of the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, Jose Antonio Meade, has resigned his position to run as the ruling party’s (Institutional Revolutionary Party or PRI) presidential candidate in 2018.

González Anaya has been Pena Nieto’s “go-to guy” to fix underperforming agencies. González Anaya took the reins in February 2016 from Emilio Lozoya Austin, who was thought to have been too slow to implement Pemex’s farm-out strategy. 

Read more:

New CEO to take Pemex reins

No bidders for Ayin-Batsil

The fruits of Mexico's labor

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