For eight decades Mexico has only allowed its state-owned oil company the ability to drill for oil in their offshore waters. This policy has now been overturned and they are allowing not only a domestic company to be involved in a new oil well but two foreign companies as well. The Mexican firm is Sierra Oil & Gas. The two foreign companies are Talos Energy LLC of Houston, Texas, and Premier Oil Plc headquartered in London, England.
This new oil well, named Zama-1, is located offshore of Tabasco state. It is in the Sureste Basin which is believed to hold anywhere from 100-500 million barrels of crude. Premier Oil is responsible for the drilling aspect of this partnership and they said that it could take up to 90 days to get this part of the project completed. Drilling operations will cost Premier Oil approximately $16 million if everything goes as expected. Once this work is completed Sierra Oil & Gas and Talos Energy will partner on working the well.
Talos Energy was established about six years ago. It was started with $600 million that the founders had raised from a previous venture in the oil and gas industry. They focus on discovering oil in the Gulf Coast and employ around 120 people, many of them engineers and geologists. It is small business which was named by WorkplaceDynamics as one of the best places to work in Houston, Texas. One of the founders of this company, Tim Duncan, has said that they offer their employees a stake in the company so that if the company does well so do they which really motivates people.
Ash Shepherd is the commercial manager of Talos Energy’s Mexico operations. He was named in October 2016 as an executive on the prestigious Thirty Under 40 list. He was the person who had signed the agreements to start Talos Energy’s involvement in Mexico’s oil industry. He started out at Talos Energy in 2014 when he was one of their legal advisors and a senior land advisor. He once worked for the U.S. Department of Energy which is where he started his professional career.