Zama partners submit development plan, form integrated project team

March 24, 2023
Pemex has submitted the Unit Development Plan for the shallow-water field to Mexico's National Commission of Hydrocarbons.

Offshore staff

HOUSTON/KASSEL, Germany – Pemex has submitted the Unit Development Plan (UDP) for the shallow-water Zama field to Mexico's National Commission of Hydrocarbons (CNH).

Zama extends across two contiguous offshore blocks in the Gulf of Mexico. All four Zama Unit Holders, including Talos Energy, Wintershall Dea and Harbour Energy, have agreed to form an Integrated Project Team (IPT) to manage development and operations going forward into the construction phase.

The UDP calls for two offshore fixed platforms, 46 dry-tree wells, and oil and gas transportation via two 68-km pipelines to new, dedicated processing facilities in the Maritima Dos Bocas terminal in Paraiso, Tabasco.

In addition, the Unit Holders have finalized agreements for oil and gas marketing and use of facilities.

Front-end engineering and design (FEED) is set to continue ahead of UDP approval from CNH, anticipated within the next six months. After obtaining all regulatory approvals and completion of all FEED studies, mitigating cost and schedule risks to appropriate levels, the co-venturers should then take a Final Investment Decision (FID), followed by award of major contracts.

Analyst Stifel estimates potential capex costs of $2 billion during 2024-26, with first oil achievable in late 2026.

According to Talos, Zama is one of the world’s largest shallow-water discoveries of the past two decades with estimated recoverable resources of 600-800 MMboe.

At peak it could produce up to 180,000 b/d of oil, equivalent to around 10% of Mexico’s current oil output. Production will likely comprise 94% oil of good quality, with API gravities of between 26° and 29°.

The UDP will minimize greenhouse gas intensity, said Wintershall Dea, by using best available technology, produced gas for onshore power generation, ands best use of existing storage and transport infrastructure.

The IPT, which will draw on the expertise of each of the Zama Unit Holders, will report to the Zama Unit Operating Committee, which includes representatives from each of the companies.

Talos and Pemex will co-lead the planning, drilling, construction, and completion of all the wells and planning, execution, and delivery of Zama's offshore infrastructure. Talos, Pemex, and Wintershall Dea will co-lead the project management office.

Wintershall Dea added that it would co-lead the work groups for Finance, Supply Chain, and Subsurface Characterization, along with engineering and work execution related to the onshore facilities. 

Zama has been awarded “strategic project” status by Pemex and the Mexican Government. Under the Unitization Resolution from March 2022, initial participating interests are Pemex 50.4%, Talos 17.4%, Wintershall Dea 19.8% and Harbour 12.4%.