basin. Murphy and Queiroz Galvão will partner with ExxonMobil
in those bocks with 20% and 30%, respectively. CNOOC and Repsol
were awarded one deepwater block each in the Espirito Santo basin,
while the Australian company Karoon was awarded one deepwater
block in the Santos basin.
The ANP has released details of the second and third presalt rounds
due to take place on Oct. 27. The second presalt round will put four
high potential unitizable areas on offer with 2. 2 Bbbl of in-place resources. The companies qualified for this bid round are: Petrobras,
ExxonMobil, Shell, Total, Chevron, Statoil, Repsol Sinopec, Galp
Energia, Petronas, and the emerging local outfit OuroPreto.
On the same date a third bid round will be launched offering four
presalt areas: Pau Brazil with estimated in-place reserves of 4. 1 Bbbl,
Peroba with 5. 3 Bbbl in-place reserves, Alto de Cabo Frio Oeste, and
Alto de Cabo Frio Central. The latter two areas are considered as
high-risked, a recent analysis and interpretation of the multi-client 3D
seismic data received from CGG showed significant potential resources
in them. Companies qualified for the third bidding round are: Petro-
bras, ExxonMobil, BP, Shell, Total, Statoil, Qatar Petroleum, CNOOC,
Repsol, Chevron, CNODC, Galp Energia, Ecopetrol, and Petronas.
Three more bidding rounds are scheduled for 2018: one for the
equatorial margin, one for the Campos basin, and one for marginal
mature fields. Multiple prospects will be released in another three
bidding rounds scheduled for 2019. The country expects those nine
bidding rounds to result in exploration and production projects pump-
ing $80 billion of new investments into its economy plus $120 billion
in tax revenues. ANP also expects those exploration activities to add
10 Bbbl of recoverable reserves and to use 20 rigs.
Guyana needs no help in showcasing its potential following ExxonMobil’s two world-class finds in Liza and Payara, with an uptick in
activity surrounding the Stabroek block since then. Guyana’s neighbor,
Suriname, has also benefited from the discoveries as the geological
plays extend across the border, making the country a potentially
lucrative option. Guyana is trying to capitalize on this by holding only
the second ‘open door licensing round’ in its history. The round will
remain open for one year with operators allowed to submit proposals
for any acreage they choose.
Located in the Stabroek block, the deepwater Liza field was dis-
covered in May 2015. The 2. 3-2. 8 Bbbl discovery will be developed
in phases by operator ExxonMobil. The Liza Phase 1 development
includes a subsea production system and an FPSO vessel with the
capacity to process up to 120,000 b/d of oil from four subsea drill
centers consisting of 17 wells, including eight producers, six water
injectors, and three gas injectors. The Noble Bob Douglas drillship
has been contracted to complete the wells on a three-year drilling
campaign due to start in April 2018.
Production is expected to begin by 2020 and develop about 450
MMbbl of oil. The fasttracked development plan was submitted in
December 2016, and received regulatory approval from the govern-
ment of Guyana in June 2017.
Phase 1 is expected to cost more than $4.4 billion, which includes
a lease capitalization cost of about $1.2 billion for the FPSO facility
and $3.2 billion for drilling and subsea infrastructure.
As part of ongoing exploration in the Stabroek block, the Payara- 1
well was spud in January 2017 and completed as a discovery with an
estimated 1. 4 Bbbl of oil in place. The Payara- 2 appraisal well was
also completed in July 2017 as a discovery, adding an estimated 500
MMbbl to the Payara field and making it ExxonMobil’s second world-
class discovery in Guyana.
Further wildcats are planned across the Stabroek block through
the end of the year on the Turbot, Ranger, and a third currently
Mexico launched a deepwater licensing round at the end of July, which
will offer 30 license-style contracts in the Gulf of Mexico. The blocks on
offer include nine in the prolific Perdido foldbelt, 10 in the Mexicana
Ridges and Salinas basin areas, and one off the Yucatan platform. The
Mexican government has an investment goal of $31.5 billion.
The Perdido and Salinas areas were featured in the previous bidding
round in December 2016 and are largely covered by seismic data. The
Mexicana Ridges area is making its debut in a public bidding round
but as an exploration area for PEMEX, it has near complete seismic
data. The 4,000-sq km ( 1,544-sq mi) block off the Yucatan platform is
a frontier play with little data available. Operators had until Nov. 10 to
submit their pre-qualification documents for the round with the qualified companies announced on Dec. 20. Local content requirements
for the licenses will begin at 3% for the exploration phase and rise to
10% for any commercial developments.
Reports are that Eni is looking to invest. The company’s chief geologist, Luca Bertelli, recently suggested the company sees Mexico
as “one of the last major opportunities” for deepwater. The company
already operates the shallow-water Amoca project with an estimated
1. 2 Bbbl of oil reserves, discovered in 2015. •
Map of blocks on offer in Mexico’s Round 2. 4 deepwater licensing round.
(Source: Comisión Nacional de Hidrocarburos)
Reports are that Eni is
looking to invest. The
company’s chief geologist,
Luca Bertelli, recently
suggested the company
sees Mexico as “one of the
last major opportunities”