New Oil & Gas discovery in Mexico's shallow waters increases stakeholder expectations

The Mexican national oil company Pemex (NOC), has recently announced one of its biggest discoveries in years, unveiling new shallow-water oil fields in the southern Gulf of Mexico. The timing of the discoveries, only a month away from the opening of bids, increases the interest and attractiveness of the shallow-water tenders, while at the same time raises sustainability questions and expectations.

There are four new fields with important hydrocarbon potential in shallow-waters of the area known as Litoral of Tabasco and to a structure near the Cantarell complex, and located close to the shallow water areas out for tender. The NOC estimates the fields could be developed for production in approximately 16 – 20 months and achieve 200 thousand barrels of crude oil and 170 million cubic feet of gas per day. Taking into account the short period for its development and the size of the deposits found, these discoveries may represent the greatest exploratory success of Pemex in the last 5 years according to the NOC.

Mexico’s Oil and Gas industry has been and continues to be a pillar of the country’s economy, politics and society, with the NOC dominating the space now and at least in the near term.  It is therefore not surprising that these recent discoveries may further heighten stakeholder expectations of the Ronda 1 shallow-water results, including those of local communities and institutions in the region, and other national and international stakeholders.

Successful international oil and gas companies (IOC) on July 15th, the new investors and operators in the Mexican oil and gas sector, will face greater risks and challenges than the NOC. Experience indicates that stakeholder challenges and social risks will be far more complex for the IOCs (and their local supply chain), requiring a real understanding of the issues, innovative strategies to manage non-technical risks, and engagement from the onset.

Click the link that follows for additional insights into managing non-technical risks to ensure the success of new oil and gas business ventures in Mexico.