Calgary-based, Mexican-focused junior International Frontier Resources Corporation (IFR), a partner with a Mexican company in Tonalli Energia, has been granted authorization by the regulator in the country to drill on a block it won the rights to develop last year.

IFR said in a news release that it will now begin development of the Tecolutla block near the port city of Veracruz, where former operator Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) produced a total of 1.9 million bbls between 1956 and 1972.

The target, the El Abra formation, is at a depth of 2,340 metres, said IFR, noting that its TEC-10 directional development well will be the first to target new locations within the reservoir.

The company said it had obtained 3D seismic data and “based on our interpretation of the 3D seismic, we believe the Tecolutla field has been significantly underdeveloped.”

IFR said it will use “modern drilling and completion techniques to increase productivity and recovery from the reservoir.”

The company said it has begun construction of a high-grade access road leading to TEC-10 to provide year-round access. It has also started initial site preparation for a central production facility and plans to drill four horizontal and directional wells.

Initially IFR will truck its production to existing Pemex facilities in the area, but it said it will explore other markets in the future.

Aside from having received approval to drill its block from the National Hydrocarbons Commission, IFR said it is working with the Agencia de Seguridad, Energia y Ambiente (ASEA), the country’s environmental and industrial safety agency, on an implementation plan.

Tonalli is a joint venture between IFR and Mexican petrochemical company Grupo IDESA.

IFR is one of a handful of Canadian juniors that have secured development rights in the country, where state-owned Pemex formerly was the monopoly upstream, midstream and downstream operator.