A long-awaited auction of Mexico’s untapped deep water oil fields on Monday Dec. 5 has been fueled by a nearly $3 billion USD boom in geological data mapping almost inaccessible deposits to open up what the industry sees as the world’s “last great proven frontier.”
The data rush of the past two years by many top geophysical companies has sparked some of the biggest imaging projects ever for technology also used to hunt for the ruins of ancient civilizations and explain the fate of the dinosaurs.
“What they’re doing is literally rewriting the geological model of the Gulf of Mexico,” Juan Carlos Zepeda, head of the national hydrocarbons commission (CNH), Mexico’s oil regulator, said ahead of Monday’s deep water auctions where the likes of Chevron (CVX.N) and BP (BP.L) are expected to participate.
Aside from more than $2 billion invested since 2015, the companies have already raked in data sales of $520 million, Zepeda said.
The data bonanza has been an early success of a 2013 energy reform that ended the 75-year old monopoly of Mexican state oil company Pemex in a bid to reverse a 1.2 million barrel per day (bpd) slide in crude production over the past dozen years.
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