BOEM to offer 76.9 million
acres in GoM-wide lease sale
US Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has
announced that the department is proposing
the largest oil and gas lease sale ever held in
the US – 76,967,935 acres in federal waters of
the Gulf of Mexico, offshore Texas, Louisiana,
Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.
The proposed region-wide lease sale, offering
an area about the size of New Mexico, is sched-
uled for March 2018 and includes all available
unleased areas on the Gulf’s outer continental
shelf. This would surpass last year’s region-wide
lease sale by about one million acres.
Proposed Lease Sale 250, which will be
livestreamed from New Orleans, will be the
second offshore sale under the National Outer
Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Pro-
gram for 2017-2022. It includes 14,375 unleased
blocks, located from 3 to 230 mi ( 5 to 320 km)
offshore, in the Gulf’s Western, Central and
Eastern planning areas in water depths ranging
from 9 to more than 11,115 ft ( 3 to 3,400 m).
“In today’s low-price energy environment,
providing the offshore industry access to the
maximum amount of opportunities possible is
part of our strategy to spur local and regional
economic dynamism and job creation and a
pillar of President Trump’s plan to make the
United States energy dominant,” Secretary
Zinke said. “And the economic terms pro-
posed for this sale include a range of incentives to encourage diligent development and
ensure a fair return to taxpayers.”
BSEE Director offers
thoughts at Deepwater
Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Director Scott Angelle discussed
the importance of deepwater Gulf of Mexico
E&P at the recent Deepwater Operations Conference & Exhibition in Galveston, Texas.
“The offshore oil and gas industr y has dem-
onstrated that when faced with challenges in
deepwater whether market-based or technol-
ogy, it continues to innovate and accelerate,”
Angelle said during his keynote presentation.
David Paganie, conference director, Penn Well,
and chief editor of Offshore, said: “Director An-
gelle’s remarks at Deepwater Operations were
an encouraging reminder that offshore oil and
gas has advocates in Washington that seek to gal-
vanize the industry in this challenging market.”
The director also recently spent time in
Houston discussing current and future deep-
water Gulf of Mexico activity in meetings with
oil and gas operators and drilling contractors.
“In working toward President Trump’s and
Secretary Zinke’s goal of energy dominance,
industry will need to continue to meet the challenges of deepwater development,” Angelle
said. “BSEE must work to ensure that the
outer continental shelf is attractive for invest-
ment and that all operations are conducted
safely and are environmentally sustainable.”
According to BSEE, in 2016, 82% of the US
Gulf of Mexico oil production came from wells
in water depths greater than 1,000 ft (304.8 m).
In 1999, deepwater oil production accounted
for 50% of total Gulf of Mexico production.
acquire four blocks
Colombia’s state-run oil company Ecopetrol
has acquired four new blocks in the Gulf of
Mexico for oil exploration.
Ecopetrol will develop the blocks in partner-
ship with Spanish energy company Repsol,
which will have a 50% stake through its subsid-
iary Repsol E&P USA. The Repsol subsidiar y
will be the operator of the four blocks.
The blocks marked as Garden Banks 77, 78,
121 and 122 were secured during Lease Sale 249,
a competitive process that was held by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management in August.
Through the award, the partners will hold the
right to carr y out exploration in the blocks for five
years at a water depth of nearly 240 m (787 ft).
According to Ecopetrol, the blocks that it has
been awarded with are located in areas where
the so-called “Blacktail” prospects are located.
These prospects are located close to production
platforms which would facilitate early production,
owing to the potential of connecting with available
facilities in the area, should there be a discovery.
Ecopetrol stated that the new blocks are part
of its exploratory strategy to boost its reserves
and hydrocarbon production, which lists offshore areas as one of its priority areas.
Further, the company said that the addition of
the “Blacktail” prospect to the por tfolio suppor ts
its initiative of concentrating on prospects in
proximity to areas with existing infrastructure.
Operators sign up
for Mexico’s round 2. 4
Twenty-five companies have asked the National Hydrocarbons Commission of Mexico
(CNH) to sign up for the 4th invitation of the
2nd Round Bidding process and the PEMEX
farm-out for the Maximino-Nobilis deepwater
block. The bid day will be Jan. 31, 2018.
Round 2. 4 includes 30 deepwater blocks for
exploration in the Perdido area, Salinas basin,
Mexican mountain chains (Cordilleras Mexicanas) and the Yucatan platform, covering
70,844 sq km collectively (three times the area
for Round 1. 4), with prospective resources
of approximately 4.228 Bboe, twice as much
as the eight blocks awarded in Round 1. 4).
Most of the blocks have an area of 2,000 sq
km, while some cover 3,000 sq km and one
block has an area of 4,400 sq km.
The companies that have signed up include:
• BHP Billiton Petróleo Operaciones de
México, S. de R.L. de C.V.
• BP Exploration Mexico, S.A. de C.V.
• Capricorn Energy Mexico, S. de R.L. de C.V.
• Citla Energy E&P, S.A.P.I. de C.V.
• Chevron Energía de México, S. de R.L.
• Deutche Erdoel México, S. de R. L. de C. V.
• ECP Hidrocarburos México, S.A. de C.V.
• ExxonMobil Exploración y Producción
México, S. de R.L. de C.V.
• Galem Energy, S.A.P.I de C.V.
• Galp Energia E&P, B.V.
• Hess México Oil and Gas, S. de R.L. de C. V.
• Inpex Corporation
• Mitsui & Co. LTD.
• Murphy Sur, S. de R.L. de C.V.
• ONGC Videsh Limited
• Ophir Mexico Limited
• PC Carigali México Operations, S.A. de C.V.
• Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX)
• PTT Exploration and Production Public
• QATAR Petroleum Internacional Limited
• Repsol Exploración México, S.A. de C.V.
• Shell Exploración y Extracción de México,
S.A. de C.V.
• Sierra Nevada E&P, S. de R.L. de C.V.
• Statoil E&P México, S.A. de C.V.
• Total E&P México, S.A. de C.V. •
BSEE Director Scott Angelle offered his thoughts
on the state of deepwater Gulf of Mexico E&P at
the Deepwater Operations Conference & Exhibition in Galveston, Texas. (Courtesy BSEE)
Transocean reports that its newbuild ultra-deepwater drillship Deepwater Pontus recently
began its 10-year contract with Shell in the US
Gulf of Mexico. (Courtesy Transocean Ltd.)