Premier Oil has spudded its Zama-1 exploration well offshore Mexico, the first well to be drilled on acreage awarded in the country’s inaugural international licencing round in 2015.

Zama-1’s main target is to confirm the presence of hydrocarbons in the Tertiary clastic reservoirs in the low-risk Zama prospect.

Premier Oil stated that the structure of Zama prospect is likely to have a P90-P10 gross unrisked resource range of 100-500 million barrels.

The British oil company will be spending $16m for the drilling of the Zama prospect and Zama Deep, the secondary target. Premier Oil expects the well to take up to three months to drill the two targets.

Partners of Premier Oil in Block 7 are US-based Talos Energy which is the operator having 35% stake and Latin America firm Sierra Oil and Gas which holds the highest stake, at 40%. Premier Oil has 25% stake in the offshore Mexico block.

The three partners in Block 7 also jointly own Block 2 located in the same region which was also awarded by Mexico during the licensing round held two years ago.

According to Premier Oil, the two blocks contain several leads in established and emerging plays in Sureste Basin which is considered to be a proven and prolific hydrocarbon region. 

Last month, the British oil explorer agreed to divest its Pakistan business, Premier Oil Pakistan for $65.6m to Al-Haj Energy.

The sale included stakes in six gas producing fields in Pakistan which are no longer considered to be part of the core business of Premier Oil.