Latin America upstream in brief

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Report summary

The Latin America upstream in brief provides Wood Mackenzie's view on key industry events in Mexico and the Caribbean, Central and South America as they unfold. Declining legacy onshore production has been met with a highly active offshore sector. Discoveries in Guyana, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico are reshaping the upstream landscape south of the border. Argentina also stands out through its burgeoning shale developments, one of the few bright spots for unconventionals outside the United States. Strong licensing activity, led by Brazil and Mexico, has drawn a diverse landscape of players exploring new opportunities in the region. We cover these issues, and more, in the Latin America upstream in brief.

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Table of contents

  • The first of seven FPSOs to come onstream this year in Brazil has arrived on location and should start production in the first half of 2018
  • Pre-Sal Petroleo SA (PPSA) sells first cargo of government profit oil in Brazil
  • Mexico launches first shale round
  • YPF expects shale to drive production growth this year
  • Brazil offers up big pre-salt opportunities at high prices
  • ONGC Videsh and Geopark partner up in Colombia
  • Trinidad's state Petrotrin to be split into four entities
  • ExxonMobil's Pacora well adds to the string of success in Guyana
  • Pemex's Q4 results show progress, but highlight the scale of the challenge
  • Vista Oil & Gas builds more Vaca Muerta exposure in US$340 million deal
  • Perdido exploration forges ahead
  • Mexico's Energy Reform in an election year
  • Total enters the Guyana Basin
  • Colombia's Sinu-San Jacinto round delayed
  • Brazil offers two highly anticipated licensing rounds
  • Mexico's Round Two finishes on a high note
  • Mexico charges ahead with latest onshore bid round: 3.2
  • Newly-formed Vista Oil & Gas splashes into Argentina
  • Peru: Tullow's next exploration play
  • ExxonMobil's Ranger proves new play in Guyana
  • Statoil acquires 25% interest in Roncador
  • Investment pledges for the second phase of Incahuasi and exploration drilling in Azero
  • New Vaca Muerta commitments pile on at the end of a strong year
  • Management shake-up puts further pressure on Venezuela's oil and gas sector

Tables and charts

This report includes 11 images and tables including:


  • This year’s 7 FPSOs will contribute nearly 800,000 b/d of production by 2020
  • Santos and Campos basin signature bonuses (outside the pre-salt polygon, these are the minimum bids)
  • ExxonMobil's Pacora-1 discovery
  • Neuquen blocks acquired from Pampa Energia and Pluspetrol by Vista Oil & Gas
  • Mexico's 2.4 draws near-record number of bids
  • Blocks on offer across Burgos, Tampico-Misantla, and Veracruz
  • Blocks sold to Vista Oil & Gas by Pampa Energía
  • Recovery factors increase with greater density of wells
  • Vaca Muerta investment commitments


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