Talos Energy CEO Tim Duncan knows full well that drilling into the ground on the dusty plains of the Texas Permian basin might be more of a sure thing than sinking a well deep into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. But he also knows something else. An underwater Gulf well can produce oil for decades while a so-called “sure thing” on the plains of Texas may give up in just a year or two.
That’s why Duncan is putting his company’s focus on the often stormy Gulf waters. Yes, it more expensive, dangerous, risky and chancy to drill underwater, but the payoff can be huge.
Take, for example, the bold venture Talos Energy has entered with the Mexican energy giant Pemex and two other partners. Leading the way, Talos engineers dropped a well in Mexican Gulf waters in 2017. The results look spectacular so far.
Dubbed the ZAMA-1, the well appears to have found possibly as much a two billion barrels of crude equivalent. Lower end estimates say the well may bring 1.4 billion. Whatever the case, once the site is developed, it promises to pump forth millions of barrels of oil over a multi-year time span. Pemex and Mexican government officials have high hopes that ZAMA-1 will prove to be a lucrative gamble.
Talos partnered with Premier Oil of the U.K. and Sierra Gas & Oil, a Latin American energy exploration company. Talos will hold a 35% share in ZAMA-1.
The project is a striking example of how Tim Duncan plans to roll out the future of his company. High-risk, high-stakes ventures, yes, but potentially mega-profitable deepwater wells in locations few others are willing to tackle.
Talos Energy is based in Houston, Texas. The Houston Chronicle named Talos as a Best Places To Work for the past four years — another accolade that Tim Duncan wears proudly as leader of his team.
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