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Pemex plans steam, water, CO2 and air EOR pilot projects

Will continue efforts to evaluate Mexico's presalt potential

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Mexico CIty — Mexico's Pemex plans to book as reserves more than 20 billion boe via exploration and increased recovery factors, allowing it to achieve its December 2024 production goal of 2.6 million b/d, the state company said Friday.

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"We are putting a magnifying glass on opportunities near existing producing areas," said Francisco Flamenco, Pemex's technical deputy director for hydrocarbon extraction, at a presentation Friday at the Mexican Petroleum Congress.

The company will incorporate 12 billion boe in new reserves by increasing the recovery factor of mature fields through enhanced and secondary oil recovery, Flamenco said.

Pemex is evaluating the use of air, steam, CO2, foam and smart water across 25 areas, including the Akal, Samaria, Cardenas, Altamira, Poza Rica, Sihi, and Cactus fields.

"If these pilot projects are successful, we will be able to apply these technologies in analogous fields immediately," he added.

If these projects are successful, Flamenco said Pemex expects to increase the final recovery rate in natural fractured carbonated fields to 37% from 29% today.

100 EXPLORATION WELLS

The company will raise the number of exploration wells it will drill year after year until reaching 100 by 2022, which is five times more than in 2018. This year it will drill 50 wells, Flamenco said.

This will allow Pemex to discover 200 fields and incorporate over 8 billion boe by 2024, Flamenco said. To expedite reserve incorporation and development, the focus will explore in areas with existing infrastructure, he added.

Pemex has estimated it has close to 25 billion boe in prospective resources in its portfolio. Of these, 39% are on conventional onshore and offshore areas. In both areas, the company has already identified 3.9 billion boe in prospective resources that are economically viable opportunities, Flamenco said.

As part of its exploration efforts, Pemex is going to acquire over 13,500 km of 2D and 4,400 sq. km of 3D seismic data across these three priority regions.

"This will give certainty over 6,500 boe of prospective resources and will allow us to identify new opportunities," Flamenco said.

Over 2013-2017, Pemex has had a commercial success rate of 34%, compared with ExxonMobil's 23% and Eni's 20%, according to WoodMac data presented by Flamenco.

The company is focusing on three exploration region: Tampico-Minsatla's Jurassic Potential in the San Andres formation, the Cordoba Platform, site of the prolific Ixachi discovery. Also, it will explore on the Cuencas del Sureste Basins where it identified eight exploration clusters anchored by the Zama/Asab, Xikin-Xanab, Teekit, Hok, Pokche, Tetl, Octli-Cahua, Pinacatl shallow-water discoveries.

At the sideline of the conference, Flamenco told S&P Global Platts that Pemex would continue its presalt exploration efforts and is currently planning new exploration wells based on data from the Yaaxtaab-1EXP well, its first presalt well, drilled last year.

Once Pemex is able to increase its reserves and crude oil production, the company will restart efforts to explore and appraise shale and deepwater opportunities in four years, Flamenco said.

The company is going to implement an expedited production program where the exploration teams behind discoveries will be responsible for their development, he added.

(Correcting references to "presalt" from "subsalt")

-- Daniel Rodriguez, daniel.rodriguez@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Richard Rubin, newsdesk@spglobal.com