Recoverable resources and breakeven oil prices for the top unsanctioned projects in Mexico

October 26, 2018

The field holding the largest resources in Mexico of 509 million boe is the second phase of Ayatsil-Tekel operated by Pemex and forecasted to come online in 2026. The field is estimated to have a breakeven oil price of $29 per barrel, thus being commercial to develop in the prevalent oil price environment. Zama and Ixachi fields, both discovered in 2017 by Talos Energy and Pemex, are estimated to hold 468 and 380 million boe in resources, respectively. These discoveries marked the success of the exploration industry in Mexico, bringing total discoveries to the highest level witnessed since 2008. Both fields are anticipated to be brought on stream already in 2022-2024 and produce 160,000 boepd at plateau.

In terms of field economics, Ixachi is estimated to have the lowest breakeven oil price among all selected discoveries, standing at $18 per barrel. On the other hand, like most of the discoveries in Mexico, Zama is an offshore field, thus implying development requires higher capital investments. Thus, its breakeven is estimated to stand at around $41 per barrel. Furthermore, the majority of currently unsanctioned fields in Mexico are oil fields with relatively little gas resources, yet Ixachi is the only gas-condensate field that made it to the top in our analysis.

The most expensive field to develop with a breakeven oil price of $56 per barrel is an ultra-deep water field Exploratus, operated by Pemex and holding 150 million boe of resources. Maximino, discovered in 2014 by Pemex and holding 138 million boe in resources, completes the top ten fields in Mexico waiting to be sanctioned.

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