Spain’s Repsol withdraws from two exploration blocks in Mexican Gulf

(Reuters) – Spanish energy company Repsol has received approval to withdraw from two oil-and-gas exploration areas in the Gulf of Mexico, the Mexican oil regulator said on Thursday, weeks after the company vacated three other spots.

Repsol won the two blocks in a tender process in 2018, after an energy reform allowed companies other than the state-owned Pemex to hold hydrocarbon exploration contracts.

Mexico’s oil regulator body (CNH) approved in a public session the start of Repsol’s withdrawal process but did not detail Repsol’s reasons. A regulatory source said the company had not found any prospective resources in the blocks.

Repsol could not immediately be reached for comment on its withdrawal from the areas, which involved production sharing contracts in the Burgos Basin of the Gulf, off the coast of Tamaulipas and which borders the United States.

Light crude and wet gas were expected to be found in the blocks, according to documents from the 2018 tender. However, wells had not yet been drilled on any of the blocks, CNH data showed.

The latest withdrawal comes just weeks after a consortium led by Repsol formally exited from three other blocks.

Two of those contracts were for licenses for deepwater projects, one in Veracruz and Tamaulipas, and the other off the coast of Veracruz state. The third involved a production sharing contract in shallow waters off Tabasco, in southeastern Mexico.

Repsol now has only one exploration and extraction project in Mexico, in the deep waters of the so-called Salina Basin, off Veracruz and Tabasco, which it won as part of a consortium with other companies as the operator.

In that block, under a license contract, four wells have been drilled; two of them are crude oil discovery wells. One is producing but no production has yet been registered, according to data from the CNH. The fourth well is dry.

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