Latin America upstream in brief: more Brazilian pre-salt opportunities while Mexico tees up seven onshore JVs

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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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    Latin America upstream in brief: more Brazilian pre-salt opportunities while Mexico tees up seven onshore JVs

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    Latin America upstream in brief: more Brazilian pre-salt opportunities while Mexico tees up seven onshore JVs

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Table of contents

  • Karoon receives approval for commercial development of its Brazilian Echidna-Kangaroo discoveries and requests local content reduction
  • Pemex onshore JVs: unlocking reserves in mature fields
  • Another Energy Reform milestone – Mexico's first upstream M&A deal
  • Venezuelan oil production after the election: performance and imminent risks
  • Petrobras Q1 results: upstream in focus
  • Petrobras restores its dividend
  • Brazil`s PSC Round 5 will offer an extra chance for operators to acquire prospective presalt blocks
  • Heavy competition in Brazil`s PSC Round 4 may drive profit shares bids up
  • Venezuela: switch to low case supply outlook as production declines accelerate
  • Pan Amercian Energy gets approval to develop Hokchi
  • CNOOC gets green light to drill Perdido prospects
  • Brazilian government eases local content for existing contracts
  • ENAP Sipetrol and YPF complete expansion work in Area Magallanes
  • The pre-salt Saturno block had been removed from Brazil`s PSC Round 4 and may be offered in a new auction together with the two concession blocks removed from Round 15
  • Brazil explores offering more accessto the pre-salt
  • Petrobras starts divestment process in Tartaruga Verde, Espadarte and Baúna fields
  • Brazil's Round 15 awards roughly half of offshore blocks
  • Explorers focus on Salinas Sureste
  • 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 19 images and tables including:


  • Onshore Pemex JVs
  • Jaguar-Vista M&A blocks
  • Time to reach peak output for pre-salt FPSOs
  • Full-cycle project IRR vs profit share rate and oil price
  • Mexico's Energy Reform notable milestones
  • 2018 Local Content rules that can replace old commitments
  • Area Magallanes-Poseidon production
  • 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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