Audrey Leon catches up with TGS’ Chris Corona on some of the geophysical firm’s latest programs offshore Mexico.
Photos from TGS.
OE: What is your perspective on current activity off Mexico?
It’s very encouraging. The CNH (National Hydrocarbons Commission) has already announced two rounds for 2017. With the price of oil trending upward, we are anticipating that more companies will be taking a harder look at investing in exploration in Mexico. The CNH has done a great job getting a system into place for multi-client data and having a plan for licensing rounds that extends out a few years.
OE: Which offshore exploration areas are considered the most exciting?
Perdido has attracted the most attention, based on Round 1, Phase 4 (the deepwater round). Perdido interest is driven by large discoveries on both the US and Mexican side, such as Great White, Trident, Maximo and Trion, to name a few. The play type here has been concentric thrust propagated folds.
That being said, our interpreters are very excited about what we are seeing on the 2D in the Mexican Ridges area, such as the Vera Cruz deepwater canyon system and Salina del Istmo. There is a big variation in play types amongst these areas.
TGS’ Connie VanSchuyver, technical training and development manager, reviews depth slices in the GoM.
OE: Tell us about some of the multi-client projects TGS is currently working on in Mexico?
TGS is presently completing the depth processing of the Gigante survey along with the geochemical analysis of the 1100 cores that were taken as part of our Gigante SeaSeep program.
Gigante is a 190,000 km 2D regional survey. It covers the entire Mexican Gulf of Mexico. The purpose of the survey was to have a regional survey with a consistent set of acquisition and processing parameters.
These could be used to 1) tie into TGS’ seismic grid in the US Gulf of Mexico, and 2) tie into analog fields both in the US and Mexican Gulf of Mexico – knowing that there is no variation in the acquisition or processing parameters, and 3) creating a comprehensive regional understanding of the entire Gulf of Mexico basin.
Structural Interpretation and gravity and magnetic products are available from the survey.
Additionally, the Gigante SeaSeep program covers 625,000sq km (the entire Mexican Gulf of Mexico basin and the Caribbean). This survey uses multibeam data to identify natural seeps, which are cored and geochemical analysis performed. Approximately 1100 cores were taken. This information can be used determine the grade of hydrocarbon seeping out of the subsurface. This can be a very useful tool for exploration companies to determine where they would like to explore. The goal of Gigante is to provide industry with a comprehensive regional understanding.
OE: What is the long-term outlook for Mexico’s oil and gas industry from your perspective?
Much of this will depend on the 2018 presidential election. But, we are optimistic that no matter which party is elected, Mexico will still be open to foreign investment. The regulations could become more burdensome, which could deter some companies.
Chris Corona is the director of Latin America for TGS. He has been employed at TGS for 28 years, working in sales and project development.