Mexico’s independent oil regulator on June 11 approved deepwater exploration plans for five areas operated by Royal Dutch Shell Plc in Mexican waters near the U.S. maritime border.
The plans commit the Anglo-Dutch oil major to invest at least $397 million over the next four years, but if the drilling proves successful it could grow to some $1.3 billion, according to the regulator, known as the National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH).
Shell won exploration and production rights to nine deepwater blocks in the Gulf of Mexico at an auction run by the CNH early last year.
Drilling plans for the remaining four deepwater blocks from the company are expected to be presented shortly, CNH Commissioner Sergio Pimentel said, without specifying the date, at a session broadcast online.
Shell’s Malikai tension leg platform hit a key milestone this week with the facility being skidded onto Dockwise’s White Marlin heavy lift vessel in readiness for sailaway to the field at the end of April.
As dire market conditions continue to hit the floating production system sector, companies have delayed or cancelled projects, would-be orders have fallen by the wayside and shipyards have been forced to lower prices to lure the little business that still exists.
Four of the biggest oil and gas operators in Australia have joined forces in an effort to combat an issue offshore Australia that is costing the industry hundreds of millions of dollars: replacing subsea equipment that fails prematurely.