In 2017 we expanded our position along the Atlantic Margin by securing acreage in Mexico where we plan to drill three exploration wells (two Cairn operated) in 2019, targeting ~500mmboe.
Cairn holds three licences offshore Mexico, in Block 7 (Cairn 35% WI), Block 9 (Cairn operator 65% WI) and Block 15 (Cairn operator 50% WI) covering a total acreage position of 2,080 km2 in a highly prolific, yet under-explored region. In 2018 we opened an office in Mexico City.
The first well in our Mexico programme will be drilled on Block 7, operated by ENI. The Operator is progressing all required permits. A site survey will compete shortly and well selection and preparations are well advanced to commence drilling in Q3 2019. An additional well is planned on Block 7 in 2020.
The second well will be on Block 9 and operated by Cairn. The exploration plan has been approved and a rig contract is in place with Maersk for the Maersk Developer Semi-Submersible Drilling Rig and a group services package with Schlumberger for onshore and supply base operations. Drilling operations are expected to commence in Q3 2019 targeting the Alom prospect, followed by an additional well targeting the Bitol prospect in Q4 2019 (also Cairn operated). This will be the third well in our Mexico programme.
On Block 15, the exploration plan was submitted in Q4 2018 and an environmental baseline survey completed in Q1 2019. Further evaluation of the block is ongoing.