Considerations on well drilling authorizations

Up to date, only 17 of 139 committed wells have been completed: 16 appraisal  or production wells (rounds 1.2 and 1.3) and one exploratory (Talos’ Zamma-1),  which discovered a 1,800 MMboe shared reservoir with PEMEX.

The remaining 122 committed wells are distributed among 38 contracts where  34 have an approved plan (exploration, appraisal or development). Out of these,  28 have not started drilling any single well, despite having an approved plan for  more than 2 years.


In our experience, this is often due to a poor regulatory compliance, lacking a  comprehensive approach of the technical and environmental requirements. As  a general suggestion, we recommend considering the following essential  elements in the preparation of requests for drilling authorization:

  • Include the well to be drilled in an approved plan  (Exploration, Appraisal or Development).
  • Explain each stage in the Drilling Program including contingency scenarios.
  • Schedule of activities of Drilling, Completion and Abandonment  and include estimated total cost.
  • Feasibility analysis of Drilling and Completion according  to operator’smethodology.
  • Present a third party certification of: drilling program, risk assessment  and mitigation plan, among others.

Additionally, it is necessary to consider updating other obligations like ASEA’s  MIA, SASISOPA, Environmental Risk Assessment, permits for waste manage-  ment, among others.

As a result of the first (9) Mexican  bidding rounds, the awarded compa-  nies committed to perform, at a  minimum, a broad variety of activi-  ties where drilling wells represents  the main investment.

* With CNH data, Oct 2018.

In    Talanza,    we    assist    our    clients    in    the    preparation  of  their  well  drilling  authoriza-tions,  HSE  requirement  fulfillment  and  the  request    of    releasing    work    commitment    guarantees.     We     are     a     multidisciplinary     group:  engineering,  law,  energy  regulation,  HSE,   social,   finance   and   government.   Our   competitive  advantage  relies  on  our  team’s  very  own  insight  and  understanding  of  the  energy   reform   in   which   each   of   Talanza’s   members   has   the   dual   perspective,   as   an   active key player in the design and implemen-tation of the reform, and as actual operators of    these    regulations,    from    each    of    the    different Mexican regulators.

Download this article
Talanza Publications: Considerations on well drilling authorizations