Mexico’s national hydrocarbons commission CNH has rejected an updated work programme submitted by Italian major Eni for its Area 1 contract, home of the Amoca-Mizton-Tecoalli shallow-water field.

Eni achieved first oil in Mexico in June 2019 on a fast-track basis from the Mizton field with a wellhead platform — WHP-1 — and a connection to an existing onshore treatment facility.

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Mizton produced about 15,000 barrels per day of oil in October, far less than the 25,000 bpd previously projected by Eni for the period, the CNH noted in a board meeting on 14 December.

Eni attributed the low figures to delays in the arrival of the Miamte floating production, storage and offloading vessel, which is now due to begin output from Area 1 in March 2022.

The FPSO, chartered for a 15-year period with Japan’s Modec, has processing capacity of 90,000 bpd, with storage room for 700,000 barrels of crude.

However, the CNH argued that the new programme presented by Eni will reduce the ramp-up curve at Area 1, thus not achieving the field’s full hydrocarbons potential throughout the expected life cycle until 2041.

The regulator’s decision means that Eni must present a new plan and budget for 2021 before being allowed to continue with activities next year.

Besides WHP-1, Eni has ordered two additional wellhead platforms — WHP-2 and WHP-3 — to be installed respectively in Amoca and Tecoalli in early 2025.

The Amoca-Mizton-Tecoalli field is estimated to hold in-place volumes of 2.1 billion barrels of oil equivalent, of which 90% is crude.