It’s been a few years of soul-searching for Tim Duncan, the CEO of Talos Energy. The Houston-based oil company has long specialized in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico off Louisiana and Texas. Yet the oil bust that began in 2014 has made the region deeply unpopular. Facing dwindling prospects for big new finds offshore, companies have instead flocked to the Permian basin of west Texas, where layer upon layer of oil-saturated rock promises decent returns even at stubbornly low oil prices.“We resisted the temptation to join the land race onshore,” says Duncan. But Talos did go somewhere new: Mexico.