Norwegian oil major Statoil was awarded two blocks in the Saline Basin in the Deepwater exploration tender in the Mexican Round 1.

Blocks1 and 3 have an area of 5,650km² and fall under the largely unexplored deepwater areas of the Saline Basin.

Statoil also received the operatorship with 33.4% equity. Project partners BP and Total will hold the remaining interest in this site.

Statoil was awarded these licences through a competitive bid round where ten deepwater blocks were offered.

Four licences are in the Perdido Area, while the remaining six are located in the Saline Basin.

The awarded blocks are located at 900m to 3,200m deep.

The bidding is the Mexico’s first tender for deepwater exploration at Gulf of Mexico.

Statoil exploration in US and Mexico vice president Tore Løseth said: “Mexico’s opening presents the industry with great opportunities, so we are pleased to secure an early position.

“The award grants Statoil access to significant frontier acreage in an underexplored part of offshore Mexico.

"The blocks are virtually untested, with considerable subsurface uncertainty, but with play-opening potential.”

The winning bids for both blocks also include an additional royalty of 10% for future revenues with an additional work programme equivalent to one biddable well per block.

Every block comes with a minimum work programme provided by the authorities that consists of various geological activities but no required wells.

Løseth said: “The licences awarded reinforces Statoil’s exploration strategy of early access at scale.

"This further strengthens and develops the optionality in Statoil’s long-term international portfolio.

"The blocks are virtually untested, with considerable subsurface uncertainty, but with play-opening potential."

“With the Deepwater tender bringing Mexico’s historic Round 1 to a conclusion, we are starting to see the fruits of Mexico’s comprehensive energy reform.

"Statoil has a long-term perspective in Mexico, and we look forward to contributing to developing the energy sector by assessing the blocks awarded”

Since 2001, Statoil operates a representative office in Mexico City.

Image: Location of blocks to be offered in the deepwater tender in Mexico round 1. Photo: Courtesy of Statoil