VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – Calgary-based oil and gas developer International Frontier Resources (IFR) announced on Thursday that the first evaluation well, TEC-10, has been spudded at its onshore Tecolutla block, in Mexico, which it is developing in partnership with Mexican joint venture (JV) partner Tonalli Energia.
The company advised that the TEC-10 directional evaluation well will be drilled to target the El Abra formation, at a depth of 2 490 m, which the team expects to reach in about three weeks’ time.
The operating subsidiary Tonalli will implement a modern core and logging programme to re-evaluate the properties of the reservoir and to optimise 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 using three-dimensional seismic and modern technologies to increase productivity and oil recovery. Following the release of the drilling rig, a thorough completion and testing programme will be conducted to evaluate the TEC-10 well,” IFR president and CEO Steve Hanson said in a statement.
IFR acquired Tecolutla through a 50:50 JV with Mexican petrochemical leader Grupo IDESA on May 12, 2016. 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 Pemex measurement points and pipeline infrastructure. This strategic position of the block is expected to enable Tonalli to efficiently bring oil to the market.
Existing pump stations and oil effluent pipelines are both located about 30 km 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 favourable 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 they 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 movers 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 as part of the first round and third call of Mexico’s oil and natural gas ‘mature fields’ bid round, or ‘Round 1.3’, the first in almost 80 years. Each of the blocks offered in Round 1.3 attracted multiple bids.