Mexico’s oil regulator approved on March 20 a request by French oil company Total SA to give up its E&P rights to a deepwater block in the southern Gulf of Mexico that the firm had won at auction in 2016.
The regulator said Total decided to return the block due to the results it had obtained to date and must pay a fine of $21.2 million for failing to comply with its contract’s minimum exploration work requirements.
Total, the project’s operator, had won rights to the area in a consortium that also included U.S. oil major Exxon Mobil Corp.
Mexico’s Hokchi Energy and U.S. Talos Energy have also relinquished some of their rights for exploring oil and gas areas in Mexico after winning offshore blocks as part of Mexico’s flagship 2013 energy reform.
Although the industry learned a lot during the last downcycle, oil and gas companies won’t have the same access to capital in the latest slump and will likely only be able to invest the cash they generate.
Anadarko Petroleum was the only corporate deal Occidental Petroleum considered since the company’s current leadership has been in place, says CFO Cedric Burgher.
Devon Energy had been actively shopping the Permian Basin assets, and others in the Rockies, the past several months.