Mexico’s oil regulator CNH has approved a new deepwater block to state oil company PEMEX, but also stipulated that PEMEX had to develop the area with a partner that would eventually operate the field.

The new Chachiquin area, adjacent to PEMEX’s Nobilis-Maximino block, could produce 80,000 b/d of oil once it reaches peak output, according to a Reuters report. Development of the area is not expected to begin until 2024 at the earliest.

“It’s incredibly important for the country to move forward with deepwater projects,” said Hector Moriera, a commissioner with CNH. As quoted in the Reuters report, Moriera added that 53% of Mexico’s prospective oil resources are in deepwater deposits. “That’s where much our country's oil future lies,” he said.

An auction to pick a partner for PEMEX in the Nobilis-Maximino block, which would only be Mexico’s second deepwater joint venture, was approved last month by the company’s board and is set for year-end.

Nobilis-Maximino is estimated to hold reserves of some 500 MMbbl based on data gathered from five wells drilled in the past, and is located just south of Mexico’s maritime border with the United States in the Perdido foldbelt, where dozens of successful projects have been developed on the US side of the same basin in recent decades.

Source; Offshore Mag - http://www.offshore-mag.com/articles/2017/05/mexico-oil-regulator-approves-new-gulf-of-mexico-area-for-pemex