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Premier Oil announced on Thursday the successful completion of the first part of the Zama appraisal in Block 7 offshore Mexico. The block is operated by US-based Talos Energy, in a consortium with Premier Oil and Sierra Oil and Gas.

The Zama-2 appraisal well is the first of three appraisal wells drilled by the consortium to more precisely define the resource potential of the Zama discovery. It was drilled 2.1km north of the Zama-1 discovery well, reaching the top of the Zama reservoir at a depth of approximately 3,279m.

The appraisal confirmed that the reservoir quality of the Zama-2 well was similar to that of Zama-1 and in line with the consortium’s expectations, with a higher net-to-gross ratio of 73% compared to Zama-1’s 63%.

Premier Oil chief executive Tony Durrant said: “This is an excellent start to the Block 7 Zama appraisal programme in Mexico. It enhances our interpretation of the large Zama discovery and increases our confidence in our resource estimates.”

Another objective of the Zama-2 well was to test a deeper exploration prospect called Marte. While this test of the Marte reservoir did not find any hydrocarbons, the information gathered during the test would help the consortium with its evaluations of the Zama reservoir and other possible prospects on Block 7, according to operator Talos Energy.

Talos president and CEO Timothy Duncan said: “We are very pleased with the results of the Zama-2 well as we were able to achieve our primary goals of understanding the depositional environment and the presence of thick sand bodies needed for robust aquifer support, both of which help with ultimate recovery.

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“We also confirmed that this section of the reservoir has similar or better rock properties as compared to the Zama-1 discovery well and that the pressure information indicates connectivity to Zama-1. Perhaps most importantly, the oil-water contact was encountered at the predicted depth, if not slightly deeper.

“These results provide us with confidence that our geological and reservoir modelling can be used as a predictive tool for the Zama development, just as we’ve been successfully using them on the US side of the Gulf of Mexico. It helps to de-risk not only Zama, but the remainder of the Block 7 inventory.”

The Zama-2 well will now be side-tracked to create the Zama-2ST1 well. The consortium plans to drill a second appraisal well, Zama-3, to the south of the original discovery well.