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Mexican Energy Secretary Pedro Joaquin Coldwell announced on the 8th of June that the next phase of auctions for offshore oil and natural gas blocks would take place by the end of this July.
As reported by Reuters, the next round, denominated as 2.1, will consist of bidding on fifteen shallow-water sites for exploration and extraction work in the Gulf of Mexico.
During the inauguration of the latest Mexican Oil Congress, Coldwell also said that a subsequent round of bidding (2.2) will be carried through prior to the end of summer on fourteen onshore blocks in the northern Burgos Basin as well as in southeast Mexico.
The Mexican government anticipates undergoing the auctions despite low crude prices that have forced state-run oil giant Pemex to cut its operating budget, delay making payments to suppliers, and lower its anticipated oil production for this year to 2.13 million barrels per day.
Thus, Coldwell said that Pemex must seek an alliance with another oil company if it wants to realistically bid in Mexico’s first-ever deep-water oil site auction scheduled for 5 December.
As we reported on 1 June, some twenty firms including foreign entities like Shell, Chevron, and ExxonMobil have registered to participate in the auction to be held in approximately four months.
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Mexico ended the decades-long oil and gas monopoly of Pemex at the end of 2013 as part of an energy reform to open up the industry to increased private sector investment.
Results of prior auctions held last year have been mixed; only five of nineteen contracts for two offshore auctions in July and September were successfully tendered. Twenty-five onshore fields were successfully auctioned off in a December event dominated by small Mexican companies and absent of international oil majors.
By Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com