SYDNEY, Australia – BHP Billiton has submitted the winning bid to acquire the operatorship and a 60% participating interest of blocks AE-0092 and AE-0093, containing the Trion discovery in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.
PEMEX Exploration & Production Mexico will retain a 40% interest in the blocks.
The Mexican operator estimates the gross recoverable resource to be 485 MMboe. Subject to satisfaction of conditions (including obtaining government approvals), the relevant agreements are anticipated to be finalized and signed within 90 days.
BHP Billiton’s bid for Trion includes an upfront cash payment of $62.4 million and a commitment to a minimum work program (estimated to be up to a maximum of $320 million).
Should BHP Billiton and PEMEX agree to progress the project beyond the minimum work program, BHP Billiton will be required to invest the remainder of the $570 million minimum work contribution (which includes the minimum work program spend) and a $624 million cash contribution (which comprises the upfront cash payment of $62.4 million already paid and the balance of $561.6 million as a future carry for PEMEX). The bid also includes a commitment to an additional royalty of 4%.
Steve Pastor, BHP Billiton President Operations Petroleum, said: “We see attractive potential in Trion and the Perdido trend, and we are pleased to have the opportunity to further appraise and potentially develop this prospective frontier area of the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.”