Photo: Valaris 8505; Source: Lukoil

Lukoil starts drilling first well in Block 12 off Mexico

Russian independent oil company Lukoil has started drilling its first exploration well at Block 12 located in the southern area of the Gulf of Mexico.

Lukoil said on Monday that the Yoti West-1Exp well would be drilled by the Valaris 8505 semisubmersible rig, which was transported to Block 12 after its successful work at Block 10 on the Sayulita-1Exp well.

According to the company, the exploration will focus on turbidite deposits of the Upper and Lower Miocene. The water depth at the drilling site is 207 meters.

Drilling of the Yoti West-1Exp will provide geological and geophysical data needed to decide on further exploration of Block 12.

Lukoil Upstream Mexico, a subsidiary of the Lukoil Group, acquired the license for exploration and production of hydrocarbons at Block 12 in 2017 following the Shallow Water Bidding Round 2.1.

The block is located 50 kilometres off the coast, in the Gulf of Mexico offshore the State of Tabasco, Mexico. Its surface area amounts to 521 square meters, with the water depth varying from 150 to 400 metres.

The Block 12 joint venture was formed by Eni with a 40 per cent stake while and Lukoil Upstream Mexico holds the remaining 60 per cent as the operator. The parties’ minimum obligations for the early stages of exploration are to drill one well.

It is worth reminding that Eni entered Block 12 via an interest license swap in November 2018. Namely, Lukoil assigned 40 per cent in Block 12 to Eni, retained the remaining 60 per cent stake and remained the operator of the project.

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In its turn, Eni will assign 20 per cent in Block 10 and 20 per cent in Block 14 to Lukoil and remain the operator of both projects. All three blocks are located in the promising Sureste Basin.

Lukoil and Eni were also awarded rights to Block 28 in licensing Round 3.1. Lukoil received a 25 per cent stake, whereas Eni was awarded 75 per cent and became the operator of the project.