There has been no offshore exploration by any company other than Petroleos Mexicanos, a state-run monopoly, since the country nationalized their oil industry in 1938. Three companies have joined forces to sink the first exploratory well in Mexican waters for over 80 years.

The well, named Zama-1, is located offshore from the state of Tabasco, in the Sureste Basin. It is estimated to be holding 100 million to 500 million barrels of crude oil, according to Premier.

Mexico’s less than stellar oil industry needed reviving and voted to allow private industry to explore offshore. Mexico’s Sierra Oil & Gas, London’s Premier Oil Plc and Houston’s Talos Energy LLC gained rights to drill in a bid made in 2015. Talos owns 35% of the well and is the operator. Sierra controls 40% and Premier, 25%.

As a private upstream oil and gas company, Talos Energy is financed through investments with Apollo Global Management, LLC, Riverstone Holdings LLC and Talos management. Primarily targeting the areas of the Gulf of Mexico and the lower Gulf Coast of Louisiana, for exploration, procurement and profit, Talos has seen improvement in drilling techniques and well control during the past 70 years.

Talos Energy has been in operation since 2012, guided by an expert management team who has been developing both shelf, and deepwater, assets in the Gulf for many years. Prior to starting Talos Energy, the parent company developed, then sold, two successful oil and gas companies, Phoenix Exploration Co. and Gryphon Co.

Quoting Elaine Reynolds, an analyst at Edison Investment Research Ltd. In London, “As the first non-Pemex well to be drilled since the opening up of Mexican waters as part of the country’s energy reform process, this well will be keenly watched by the industry” with the basin structure suggesting “a high geological chance of success.”

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