OREANDA-NEWS. December 06, 2016. Statoil was today awarded blocks 1 and 3 in the Saline Basin in the Deepwater exploration tender in the Mexican Round 1.

The blocks cover an area of about 5,650 km2 (18,500 square miles) in the largely unexplored deepwater areas of the Saline Basin. Statoil will be the operator of blocks 1 and 3, at 33.4% equity, with partners BP and Total participating equally with the remaining equity. 

The licences were awarded in a competitive bid round. A total of 10 deepwater blocks were on offer, with four in the Perdido Area and six in the Saline Basin. The blocks awarded are in water depths ranging from about 900 3,200 metres. The bid round is Mexicos first ever tender for deepwater exploration acreage.

Mexicos opening presents the industry with great opportunities, so we are pleased to secure an early position. The award grants Statoil access to significant frontier acreage in an underexplored part of offshore Mexico. The blocks are virtually untested, with considerable subsurface uncertainty, but with play-opening potential, says Tore Loseth, Statoils vice president for exploration in the US and Mexico.

The winning bids for both blocks consisted of an additional royalty of 10% (on potential future revenues) and an additional work program equivalent to 1 biddable well per block. Each block also has a minimum work program as defined by the authorities, including a variety of geological activities but no required wells.

The licences awarded reinforces Statoils exploration strategy of early access at scale. This further strengthens and develops the optionality in Statoils long-term international portfolio, says Loseth. 

With the Deepwater tender bringing Mexicos historic Round 1 to a conclusion, we are starting to see the fruits of Mexicos comprehensive energy reform. Statoil has a long-term perspective in Mexico, and we look forward to contributing to developing the energy sector by assessing the block(s) awarded, says L?seth.

Statoil has had a representative office in Mexico City since 2001.