Mexican-Canadian oil and gas joint venture begins exploratory drilling in Veracruz
International Frontier Resources Corporation (IFR), a Canadian publicly traded Oil & Gas company, announced that it has spudded its first evaluation well, TEC-10, at its onshore Tecolutla block in Veracruz, Mexico. Drilling work is conducted by Tonalli Energia, a joint venture created by Petrofrontera, an IFR subsidiary, in partnership with Mexican petrochemical leader Grupo IDESA.
The TEC-10 directional evaluation well will be drilled to target the El Abra formation at a depth of 2,490 meters (8,169 feet). The expected timeline from spud date to reach total depth is under three weeks.
Tonalli will implement a modern core and logging program to re-evaluate the properties of the reservoir and to optimize both the completion of TEC-10 and future development of the Tecolutla field.
“TEC-10 will be the first Tecolutla well to target new locations within the reservoir utilizing 3D seismic and modern technologies to increase productivity and oil recovery,” said Steve Hanson, President and CEO of IFR. “Following the release of the drilling rig, a thorough completion and testing program will be conducted to evaluate the TEC-10 well.”
The Tecolutla field is located within the Tampico-Misantla basin which has multiple reservoirs with diverse play types and access to existing infrastructure, market, service sector providers and an established supply chain. In 2017, IHS Markit identified the Tampico-Misantla Basin as a potential “super basin”.
Tecolutla is in close proximity to existing measurement points and pipeline infrastructure owned by PEMEX, Mexico’s state-owned Oil & Gas company. This strategic position of the block should enable Tonalli to efficiently bring oil to the market. Existing pump stations and oil effluent pipelines are both located approximately 30 kilometres (18.6 miles) north of the TEC-10 well.
Oil produced at Tecolutla will be trucked to this existing facility and metered before entering the existing pipeline system. These are connected to the central processing facility at Poza Rica. This favorable location provides Tonalli with significant optionality for marketing and transportation of the much-needed oil to the domestic market in the event of a commercial oil find.
The existing four wells at Tecolutla were drilled by PEMEX between 1956 and 1972 and produced 1.9 million barrels without the use of artificial lift. Based on Tonalli’s interpretation of the 3D seismic, the Tecolutla field has been significantly underdeveloped.
IFR was one of the first foreign companies to participate in the historic reform of Mexico’s oil and gas sector when Tonalli was granted the right to operate, develop and produce hydrocarbons at Tecolutla through a licensing contract with the Mexican government.
The Tecolutla block was awarded to Tonalli on May 12, 2016 as part of the first round and third call of Mexico’s oil and natural gas “mature fields” bid round (Round 1.3), the first in almost 80 years. Each of the blocks offered in Round 1.3 attracted multiple bids.