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Latin America upstream in brief

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11 May 2022

Latin America upstream in brief

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.

Table of contents

  • CGX and Frontera confirm Kawa-1 well results; de-risking inboard play potential
  • Petrobras sells its Albacora Leste stake to PetroRio for US$2.2 billion
  • Navitas Petroleum steps up as operator of Sea Lion development
  • Brazil’s third open acreage round closes above expectations
  • ExxonMobil and partners take the final investment decision (FID) for Yellowtail’s FPSO
  • Talos announces Zama unitisation process finalization
  • Brazil’s Atlanta field to progress to full development
  • Seacrest buys Norte Capixaba Cluster and debuts as an operator in Brazil
  • Guyana has a strong 2022 start
  • Petrobras sells Potiguar cluster for US$1.38 billion
  • New discoveries in the Andean Region
  • Wintershall maintains its Mexican portfolio
  • Wintershall Dea departing from Brazil signals more delays in the Potiguar Basin
  • Vista grows its footprint in the liquids windows of Vaca Muerta
  • Pemex intends to revive Lakach deepwater gas project
  • Equinor gets environmental green light to explore Argentina’s offshore
  • Brazil shakes up its 2022 licencing plan
  • Lukoil confirms its first discovery in Mexico's block 12
  • Shell signs PSC contract with Trinidad and Tobago for Manatee development
  • GeoPark divests all operated blocks in Argentina
  • Second take in Brazil’s Surplus DRO licensing: borderline economics may limit interest again
  • A third dry hole fails to dent hopes for Guyana's Canje block
    • Cataback comes in as Stabroek's 21st discovery
    • Harbour Energy explores options to exit the Sea Lion project
  • Petrobras divestment evolves with deals closed and new opportunities added
  • Second explosion stops production at Pemex’s Ku-Maloob-Zaap platform
  • Brazil’s Concession Round 17: questionable attractiveness of frontier blocks
  • Ongoing discussion: Ecuador pushes for investment by expanding the new PSC
  • Petrobras takes final investment decision (FID) for Mero’s fourth FPSO
  • Eni confirms its second discovery in Mexico's Area 10
  • Brazilian decommissioning: little progress since the new resolution
  • TotalEnergies and Equinor withdraw from Venezuelan extra heavy oil project
  • Compañía General de Combustibles (CGC) acquires Sinopec Argentina
  • Mexico to concede Zama’s operatorship to Pemex
  • Lukoil acquires 50% on Ichalkil-Pokoch project in Mexico
  • Petrobras successfully divests Polo Alagoas to Petromais
  • Bolivia tough fiscal terms challenges future developments
  • Shell extends its position in Vaca Muerta's black oil window
  • Brazil M&A case study: quantifying the upside potential
  • Mixed results in the Suriname shallow-water bid roundclosing
  • Brazil M&A: operator landscape grows
  • Equinor sanctions first IOC-operated pre-salt development with the billion-barrel Bacalhau
  • Colombia protests push production to decade low
  • Pemex holds over half of Zama resources, according to third-party study
  • Western Gulf of Mexico's recent exploration results and potential production growth
  • Positive move towards Block 192 new contract terms in Peru
  • Argentina sets new guidelines for firm gas exports during the summer months
  • Signature bonuses reduced by 75% for the second transfer-of-rights DRO round
  • Mexico’s energy ministry to determine Zama unitisation agreement
  • Pemex announces Dzimpona-1 discovery with plans to create a production complex with nearby fields
  • Tecpetrol and Pampa Energía offer gas to cover winter peak in Argentina
  • Proposed hydrocarbon trade regulation suspended by judge
  • 3R Petroleum buys additional Brazilian fields from Petrobras’s divestment
  • Petrobras CEO to be replaced as political pressure mounts
  • Petrobras and ExxonMobil strike oil at a pre-salt exploration well
  • Mexican regulator approves 15 more exploratory concessions to Pemex
  • Guyana and Suriname have different fortunes in early 2021 exploration results
  • Bolivia: Repsol closes out the year with tenth discovery of 2020
  • Latin America upstream: 5 things to look for in 2021
  • Regional onshore oil mature fields can still deliver significant value
  • YPF dominates volume and price in Argentina's gas incentive programme
  • Pan American Energy extends its position in Vaca Muerta’s black oil window
  • Petronas makes its first discovery offshore Suriname
  • Brazil’s second open acreage round succeeds amid covid pandemic
  • Petrobras doubles down on resilience in its Strategy Day
  • Argentina launches broad gas price incentive programme
  • PetroRio takes over operatorship of two pre-salt fields from BP
  • Petrobras releases the teaser for 50% stake in the Marlim cluster
  • Mixed results for ExxonMobil’s Tanager well on the Kaieteur block, Guyana
  • Touchstone Exploration is actively moving forward in Trinidad and Tobago project
  • Colombian PPAA third cycle starts with bids to all the offered blocks
  • Tango FLNG project between YPF and Exmar comes to an early end
  • New administration needs to strive to revive Bolivia’s oil and gas sector
  • Occidental sells its onshore Colombian assets to the Carlyle Group
  • Ecopetrol launches mature fields bid round in Colombia
  • Petrobras puts Brazil's Albacora and Albacora Leste fields up for sale
  • Total quits Brazil's Equatorial Margin
  • ExxonMobil takes the final investment decision (FID) in the Payara project in Guyana
  • Pemex presents its 2021 budget led by key asset investment and new areas evaluation
  • Petrobras slashes five-year E&P spend by 30%
  • Compañía General de Combustibles (CGC) begins gas extraction from its innovative storage project in Southern Argentina
  • Pemex hits lowest low in 40 years
  • Mexican regulator approves three new concessions to Pemex
  • Enauta farms down at Manati gas field
  • Shut-in wells from Vaca Muerta come back strongly during June
  • Argentina’s liquids production recovers, driven by unconventional assets
  • Lack of gas infrastructure challenges Petrobras’ Sergipe-Alagoas project
  • Mexican exploration and production commitments put on hold
  • Major oil discovery in Block 58 offshore Suriname
  • Brazil offshore decommissioning in the 2020s
  • Petrobras doubles its FPSO schedule
  • Unconventional assets lead production shut-ins in Argentina
  • Using Wood Mackenzie Lens to power Upstream insights and analysis
  • Webinar: After the crash – what’s changed in Latin America upstream?
  • Bahamas Petroleum Company doubles down on exploration strategy
  • After the crash – what’s changed in Latin America upstream?
  • Are Latam NOCs prepared for the tough road ahead?
  • Brazil is the third largest country in decommissioning capex this decade
  • Private operators pave their way in Mexico
  • How have Andean countries reacted to the low oil price scenario?
  • Talos and Pemex unitisation: 120 days to reach an agreement
  • Qatar Petroleum farms into Total’s blocks, Shell bows out
  • Repsol plunges into Mexican Deepwaters; wins big
  • Brazil's 2020 rounds officially suspended
  • Fiscal burden to threaten new pre-salt frontier in Brazil?
  • Last call for Venezuelan waivers
  • Ecuador’s SOTE and OCP pipelines interrupt operation s
  • Apache and Total announce the second deepwater discovery in Suriname
  • Rosneft terminates all Venezuelan assets
  • Venezuela's heavy oil in hot water
  • Latin America’s 2020 oil production can be hit hard by the oil price crash
  • Operators to trim 20% of exploration budgets in Brazil this year
  • Buzios’s fourth FPSO makes Brazil’s output reach a new record
  • Eni announces second discovery in Mexico, expects to extend its good run
  • Vaca Muerta will wait for signals from new authorities
  • Long-awaited FIDs to be taken and production ramping up
  • Will Brazil’s pre-salt exploration wells disappoint?
  • US sanctions on Venezuela have taken a hard hit on Trinidad’s gas industry
  • Encouraging results in Colombia’s Lower Magdalena Valley discovery
  • Drilling permits challenge Brazil Equatorial Margin potential
  • Brazil's PetroRio buys FPSO and 80% of Tubarão Martelo oil field
  • New gas discoveries breathe life into the T&T economy
  • Stabroek block strike of success continues with 16th discovery and resource upgrade
  • A major change in Brazil’s PSC regime looks closer
  • Pemex delays development of Zama
  • A good start to the year for Brazil’s pre-salt
  • PDVSA falls short as operator
  • Repsol’s Carapa-1 well comes below expectations
  • ExxonMobil announces Liza’s first oil in Guyana
  • Total acquires a 50% stake from Apache in Suriname’s Block 58
  • Can the PSC terms be blamed for Brazil’s failure to attract IOC interest in the latest rounds?
  • Chevron exits upstream Colombia with sale to Hocol
  • Colombia's PPAA keeps bolstering the E&P sector
  • Dominican Republic awards block in first licensing round
  • Petrobras to sell 30% stake in Brazil’s Frade to PetroRio
  • Geopark increases its presence in Colombia
  • What is the future of bid rounds in Brazil?
  • Petrobras has returned to the headlines in Brazil’s rounds
    • Operator diversity 21 years after the E&P market opening
    • A successful market opening: BP surpassed Shell, while Repsol, Chevron and Qatar Petroleum doubled acreage
  • Brazil’s Transfer of Rights surplus round: a real test to capital discipline
  • Brazil’s 17th Round – Will the lingering above-ground risks remain a significant hurdle for the frontier acreages?
  • Ecopetrol increases its pre-salt presence in Brazil
  • Brazil's Concession Round 16: a multitude of operators and record bonus
  • Chevron to take 40% of three Shell’s deep-water blocks
  • Four events in worthy of attention that might bring Pemex farm-outs back
  • Petrofac finds it exit - Perenco to acquire remaining Mexico assets
  • Colombia announces new round and concedes to fracking pilot
  • Brazil's onshore might finally get its glory
  • Mexico: Will the government be able to get Pemex back into shape?
  • Gran Tierra on the hot foot, spudding first well in less than a year after the Intracampos licensing round
  • Primary election result wreaks economic instability to Argentina
  • Pemex gets to keep Round Zero acreage
  • Petrobras has turned a corner. But can it deliver peer-leading growth?
  • Exploration success in Guyana beyond the Stabroek block
  • Open process for new gas pipeline in Argentina
  • Brazilian upstream market more diverse than ever
  • A US$190 million deal marks 3R Petroleum’s debut as an operator in Brazil
  • Ecopetrol in Midland Permian tie-up with Oxy
  • Washington Venezuela sanctions: Between a rock and a hard place
  • ConocoPhillips farms into two Vaca Muerta blocks with Wintershall Dea
  • First Liza FPSO set sail en route to Guyana
  • Petrobras fully divests three mature fields in Brazil
  • Back to licensing rounds: Colombia's Permanent Offer (PPAA) results
  • The Dominican Republic joins other Caribbean countries with the launch of its first bid round
  • Colombia’s conventional activity picks up while uncons remain unsuccessful
  • Zama appraisal campaign closes big
  • Foreign oil companies move forward with exploration work in offshore Brazil

Tables and charts

This report includes 96 images and tables including:

  • Guyana and Suriname discoveries split by product type
  • Navitas' working interest capital
  • Brazil’s third open acreage: 59 awards across six basins
  • Older stories
  • Stabroek block oil production by FPSO
  • Petrobras: lifting cost evolution by resource theme
  • Wintershall Mexico net annual capex
  • Production outlook
  • Vista’s operated blocks in the Neuquén basin
  • M&A deals in the oil windows of Vaca Muerta (not exhaustive)
  • Lakach location
  • Location of CAN 100, CAN 108 and CAN 114
  • PSC blocks included in the permanent offer round
  • Yoti Oeste-1 well location
  • Manatee field location
  • Oilstone and GeoPark operated blocks in the Neuquén basin
  • Brazil's 17th round blocks on offer and awarded
  • Blocks on offer in Brazil’s Concession Round 17
  • Comparison of a 5mmbbl oil field across Andean onshore regimes
  • Number of FIDs by region
  • Reserves unlocked by Brazil’s FIDs in 2021
  • Sayulita-1 well
  • NPV scenarios
  • Decommissioning delays for 2020 and 2021 units
  • GSJ basin blocks location (CGC at 100%)
  • Cuyo basin blocks location (CGC farms in at 30%)
  • Fiscal comparison in Latin America countries
  • Upstream Competitive Index
  • Black oil blocks operated by Shell and Vista in Vaca Muerta (not exhaustive)
  • M&A deals in the oil windows of Vaca Muerta (not exhaustive)
  • Suriname 2020-21 shallow-water round results
  • Remaining NPV10 comparison for the selected assets under different Brent scenarios
  • Emissions intensity range for selected deepwater assets
  • Basins most impacted by the Colombian protests
  • State share at 11% royalty rate
  • State share at 8% royalty rate
  • Volumes provided for firm exports from Neuquina basin
  • Volumes provided for firm exports from Austral basin
  • Transfer-of-rights surplus bid parameters comparison: 2019 and 2021
  • Zama location
  • Dzimpona discovery location
  • Imports from Bolivia and Plan Gas 4 (second round) awarded volumes
  • 3R Petroleum portfolio by resources and value
  • Average sales gas and injection commitments by Basin
  • Average sales gas and injection commitments in Neuquina Basin
  • Aguada de Canepa is close to major oil developments in Vaca Muerta
  • Brazil’s second open acreage: 18 awards across seven basins
  • Petrobras: five-year capex cut by 27%
  • Marlim cluster is one of the largest upstream divestment
  • Occidental's onshore Colombia portfolio
  • Project location
  • Monthly and cumulative gas injection
  • Pemex Production 2020
  • Comparison of well monthly production for June 2020 and previous peak in Bajada del Palo
  • Kwaskwasi-1 and planned Keskesi East-1
  • Pre- and post-crash investment forecast for Latin America
  • Top 5 countries in decommissioning costs for the decade (2020-29)
  • Production outlook from Mexican early rounds projects
  • Block 15
  • Polok and Chinwol
  • Breakeven price for medium size/medium cost and large size/large cost deepwater oil field under different fiscal scenarios
  • Ecuador main oil transport system and associated blocks
  • Top 10* Company Reserves
  • At a Brent price of US$25/bbl, revenue from 10 million b/d (9%) of global liquids supply does not cover production costs and government share
  • Buzios’s FPSOs ramp up (ANP data available until December 2019)
  • Saasken-1 Location
  • Eni’s upcoming wells
  • Cross-bordering fields
  • Partners' production in Colombia
  • Remaining reserves by onshore basin
  • A nine kilometers tieback would boost production on PetroRio’s combined development
  • T&T gas production projection (bcf/d)
  • Stabroek block resource addition per year
  • Zama
  • Activities moving forward in a highly prospective corner in pre-salt
  • Companies’ acreage in Venezuela excluding PDVSA
  • Fiscal terms benchmark for a 600 mmboe pre-salt field in Brazil
  • GeoPark and Amerisur Colombian Blocks
  • Signature bonuses for Brazil blocks in 2019 were 90% of bonus raised globally
  • If Gato do Mato development goes ahead, Ecopetrol will accelerate its production in Brazil as Saturno and Pau-Brasil still depend on exploration results
  • Round 16 signature bonus payments for 12 blocks surpassed US$2 billion
  • Shell's blocks partially acquired by Chevron
  • Transactions 2018 - 2019
  • Transactions 2018 - 2019
  • Onshore blocks located in northeast Brazil dominated the round, with geographic diversification across three different basins
  • Oil Production (mb/d)
  • Government take from early projects*
  • Intracampos licensing round - blocks awarded
  • New gas pipeline will help but not solve debottleneck transport infrastructure
  • Since 1998, 13 new operators have joined Petrobras in the Campos and Santos basins
  • Both blocks sit close to the Vaca Muerta’s already sanctioned projects
  • VIM 22 block was the only block that received a counteroffer
  • Map of 2019 Dominican Republic Licensing Round
  • Falkand Islands (Malvinas) compete with the UK for Harbour's largest capital allocation

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