US independent Talos Energy has received a shot in the arm for its planned Zama field development offshore Mexico with Grupo Carso agreeing to acquire a 49.9% stake in Talos’ Mexican subsidiary that holds the company’s 17.4% interest in Zama.

“As we accelerate recent momentum and advance Zama toward FID and first production, we are confident that Carso is the right partner at the right time,” said Talos chief executive Timothy Duncan.

The operator in March submitted the Zama unit development plan to Mexico’s National Commission of Hydrocarbons for formal approval. Also, an integrated project team has been set up to manage the development and operation of Zama going forward.

Talos will co-lead the planning, drilling, construction and completion of all Zama wells as well as the planning, execution and delivery of Zama’s offshore infrastructure.

Zamajal, a subsidiary of Mexico City-headquartered Carso, is stumping up $124.75 million for its significant minority stake in Talos’ Mexican subsidiary, which the operator noted implies a minimum value of around $250 million for the entire 17.4% interest in Zama.

The transaction, which is subject to approval from Mexico’s Federal Economic Competition Commission, is expected to close in the third quarter. Carso will pay $74.85 million at closing, with the remaining $49.9 million due at first production.

“Carso’s investment is a testament to the economic potential of Zama, and the joint venture will also benefit from Carso’s critical presence in Mexico and global commercial experience,” added Duncan.

“This transaction establishes a baseline Zama valuation for Talos shareholders while providing material upfront cash proceeds. Most importantly, Talos shareholders retain significant valuation upside as we advance the project toward first production.”

Talos and Carso’s business relationship dates back eight years to the offshore lease sales in Mexico.

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