Mexico Oil & Gas “Apertura" - Round 1 Update: Deep Water Exploration

  Mexico's deep water round contractual and regulatory requirements are complex and untested. It is important to clearly understand these requirements, the interrelations, and develop a detailed regulatory road map to ensure a smooth and timely execution synchronized with the technical exploration requirements and milestones.

Mexico's deep water round contractual and regulatory requirements are complex and untested. It is important to clearly understand these requirements, the interrelations, and develop a detailed regulatory road map to ensure a smooth and timely execution synchronized with the technical exploration requirements and milestones.

Thus far, 26 Oil & Gas Companies have initiated the prequalification process for Mexico's deep water exploration round according to official information. This bidding round follows the three conducted so far under the Mexican Oil & Gas E&P Round 1 "Apertura", including rounds for shallow water exploration and extraction, and onshore mature blocks. The process has been accessible to all interested stakeholders, with typical (standard) contract models, the names of bidders and successful awards publicized through social media and dedicated internet web pages. 

The deep water bid round will feature 11 largely unexplored blocks in the Perdido and Cuenca Salina areas located in the Mexican side of deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.  Oil companies have paid Mexico's oil regulator, the National Hydrocarbon Commission (Comisión Nacional de Hidrocarburos – CNH), nearly $80 million for seismic data ahead of the auction for deep-water fields. This sum reflects a fraction of companies’ spending in the past year to acquire geological data ahead of the Dec. 2016 auction.

Contractual and regulatory requirements include an HSE Management Program to manage risks (Programa de Administración de Riesgos: Conformación e Implementación del Sistema de Administración); conducting environmental and social impact assessments; determining environmental and social existing ("as is") conditions by executing baselines, and monitoring and reporting on industrial and operational safety, environmental protection, occupational health, and socio-economic conditions.

The regulatory approval process is complex and untested, and given the lead time required for offshore deep drilling equipment and associated logistics and facilities, it is important to clearly understand these requirements, the interrelations, and develop a detailed regulatory road map to ensure a smooth and timely execution synchronized with the technical exploration requirements and milestones. 

HSE International, LLC participated at the SPE E&P symposium on Health, Safety, Environment, and Sustainability, March 30 - 31 in Mexico City.  Presentations and panel discussions during the event, included key HSES regulators, notably the Industrial Safety and Environmental Protection Regulatory Agency for the Hydrocarbon Sector (Agencia de Seguridad, Energía y Ambiente – ASEA) and Mexico’s Energy Ministry (Secretaria de Energía – SENER) charged with social impact assessment and prior consultation. 

Regulations are in the process of being developed, with some to be released shortly and others to follow over the next months. Close coordination with ASEA, SENER and CNH is necessary to ensure adequate - timely approvals, while also seeking potential beneficial synergies. 

How HSE International, LLC can help

HSE International uses its sector-focused approach, deep knowledge and experience in the oil and gas industry, and international delivery capabilities to help our clients. HSE International has worked in the Mexican oil and gas sector since 2008, including supporting IOCs, NOCs and Regulators, along the oil and gas value chain. We have developed a process to address environmental, social and safety risks each step of the way and are eager to contribute to a more sustainable development of the oil and gas sector in Mexico. 

For more information email us at: solutions@hseinternational.com

Fernando Rodriguez, Founder and Managing Director of HSE International

HSE International LLC provides environmental, social, health & safety risk management consulting and sustainability services to industries, investors and institutions worldwide. We partner with local experts to promote local content, and our fusion integrates local knowledge with international expertise and assurance. http://www.hseinternational.com