January 29, 2020 / 3:56 PM / 25 days ago

Mexico's Pemex seeks to operate Zama, says it holds most of the oil

MEXICO CITY, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Mexican state oil company Pemex would like to run the operations in an offshore oil area discovered by a consortium of private companies when development eventually begins, the company’s chief executive said on Wednesday.

Pemex believes most of the crude in the area lies in an adjacent block where it holds the development rights.

The offshore Zama find was made by a group led by U.S.-based Talos Energy in 2017, and Reuters reported last year that Pemex would like to take control of the project, the largest oil discovery made by a private firm in Mexico in decades.

The Talos-led consortium has been negotiating for about a year with Pemex over a joint scheme to develop the field.

Earlier this month, Talos said a third-party evaluation estimated that 60% of the roughly 700 million barrel find lies in its block, while Pemex holds about 40%.

Pemex Chief Executive Officer Octavio Romero told a news conference the state-run company holds most of Zama’s oil, even though it has yet to drill an exploratory well on its portion of the reservoir, and that it can bring output online faster that Talos. (Reporting by Ana Isabel Martinez; Writing by David Alire Garcia; Editing by David Gregorio)

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