Mexican Billionaire Carlos Slim's Firm Acquires Stake in Zama Offshore Oil Field

U.S.-based oil and gas company Talos Energy has completed the sale of its 49.9% interest in Talos Mexico to Zamajal, a subsidiary of Grupo Carso, a company controlled by the family of the Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim.

Talos Mexico, now owned 50.1% by Talos Energy and 49.9% by Carso, holds a 17.4% interest in the giant Zama offshore oil field, which Talos discovered in 2017. Talos will remain the controlling shareholder of Talos Mexico.

As part of the sale deal, Talos received $74.85 million in cash at closing, with an additional $49.90 million due upon first production from Zama, for an aggregate price of $124.75 million. 

In June 2023, Mexico's Comisión Nacional de Hidrocarburos ("CNH") approved the Zama Unit Development Plan, as the Zama oil field also spreads into a nearby block operated by Mexico's Pemex, which is now the operator of the Zama project development. The Zama Unit Development Plan, was filed by Talos Energy Inc. and the other Zama Unit Holders Wintershall Dea, Harbour Energy plc, and Petróleos Mexicanos ("Pemex").

Credit: Wintershall Dea

"Talos is working with the Zama Unit's Integrated Project Team to progress the front-end engineering and design and other workstreams required to reach a Final Investment Decision ("FID"). Talos will co-lead the planning, drilling, construction, and completion of all Zama wells and the planning, execution, and delivery of Zama's offshore infrastructure," Talos said Wednesday.

Talos President and Chief Executive Officer Timothy S. Duncan said: "We are excited to partner with Carso on Zama, one of the largest global shallow water oil discoveries in recent years. We expect that Talos's strong operational track record combined with Carso's critical local presence and global commercial reputation will enable us to further advance Zama toward FID and first production."

The Zama development plan includes two offshore fixed platforms, 46 dry-tree wells, and oil and gas transportation to new facilities in Terminal Maritima Dos Bocas. Zama is being developed to produce up to 180,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, which represents over 10% of Mexico's current oil production.

According to the Zama partners, production is expected to be comprised of approximately 94% oil of excellent quality, with API gravities of between 26° and 29°.

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