The location is in block 5 in moderate water depths in the Sureste basin; the other partners are PC Carigali (part of Petronas) and Sierra Oil & Gas.
Further drilling will likely be needed to confirm the commerciality of the block, Ophir said, adding that it was in talks to sell its interest in the block.
The company also holds 20% equity in blocks 10 and 12, where geological interpretation is under way of purchased seismic data.
Another UK-headquartered independent,Cairn Energy, is a partner to Eni in Mexico’s offshore block 7.
Eni is progressing preparations for permits to initiate drilling. A site survey should finish shortly, and the partners aim to drill the first well this summer.
Cairn itself will operate its second well in the sector on the Alom prospect in block 9 in shallow water in the Sureste basin, also during 3Q. The exploration plan has been approved, with Maersk supplying the semisubMaersk Developer and Schlumberger providing onshore and supply base operations.
Following Alom, Cairn plans a further well in 4Q, targeting the Bitol prospect.
In addition, the company and its partners have submitted an exploration plan for offshore block 15, in the shallow water Tampico-Misantla basin, northwest of blocks 7 and 9. Here an environmental baseline survey was recently completed.