Woodside Energy Group has secured approval from Mexican regulator Comision Nacional de Hidrocarburos (CNH) for the $7.2bn Trion oil project offshore Mexico.

The Australian oil and gas company took a final investment decision (FID) on the project in June 2023. This was subject to both the approval of the joint venture and the regulatory approval of the field development plan (FDP), which have now been satisfied.

Woodside is the operator of the Trion oil field with a 60% stake. Its partner is Mexico-based PEMEX Exploración y Producción, which owns the remaining stake of 40%.

The first oil from the offshore Mexican project is targeted for 2028.

Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill said: “This milestone allows us to fully progress into execution phase activities with our contractors.

“We look forward to working with PEMEX and our other stakeholders in Mexico to deliver this important project.”

After obtaining approval for the field development plan, Woodside has recorded 324.7 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe) gross of proved (1P) undeveloped reserves, of which the company’s share will be 194.8MMboe. The proved plus probable (2P) undeveloped reserves have been logged as 478.7MMboe gross with Woodside’s share being 287.2MMboe.

Trion is situated at a water depth of 2,500m, approximately 180km off the Mexican coastline and 30km south of the maritime border between Mexico and the US. It was discovered by PEMEX in 2012.

In 2017, BHP Petroleum acquired a stake in the deepwater oil project and last year it merged with Woodside in a multi-billion dollar deal.

For the development of the Trion oil field, a floating production unit (FPU) will be utilised, which will have an oil production capacity of 100,000 barrels per day. The FPU will be connected to a floating storage and offloading (FSO) vessel with a storage capacity of 950,000 barrels of oil.

The project’s initial phase entails the drilling of 18 wells, of which nine will serve as producers, seven as water injectors, and two as gas injectors. Throughout the lifespan of the Trion oil project, a total of 24 wells will be drilled.