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The final list for the 17 lucky oil companies that received a pre-qualification to bid in Mexico’s highly sought after deepwater oil auctions has been published, including the usual suspects of oil and gas heavy hitters.
The auction, which is scheduled for 5 December, is for choice morsels of Mexico’s Trion field—a field that is thought to require nearly $11 billion in investments and which will be developed jointly with Mexico’s state-run oil conglomerate, Pemex.
The Trion field is located in the Perdido Ford Belt in the Gulf of Mexico, near the US/Mexico border, and is thought to hold 485 million barrels of oil equivalent.
The final 17 bidders include eight companies bidding solo, along with seven consortia. The individual bidders include BHP Billiton, BP, CNOOC, ExxonMobil, Petronas, Pemex, Statoil, Total and Inpex.
The seven consortia include Royal Dutch Shell/Atlantic Rim, Eni/Lukoil, Murphy/Ophir/PC Carigali/Sierra Offshore Exploration, PC Carigali/Sierra, BP/Total, Total/ExxonMobil, and Chevron/Pemex.
What’s interesting to note, is that not all 17 entities, whether individual or consortia, will bid at auction on 5 December, because companies can bid only once—either as individuals, or as consortia. Total, for example, is pre-qualified in two separate consortia, but must choose one to bid if it decides to participate. Likewise, ExxonMobil must decide whether to bid as an individual company or alongside Total.
The auction is a huge milestone in Mexico’s comprehensive energy reform, which began at the end of 2013.
With Pemex’s monopoly now over after 75 long years, the auction will bring new foreign investors to the country to revitalize the sector. As a result, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has upped Mexico’s 2040 oil and gas production forecast by 76 percent.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for US-based Divergente LLC consulting firm, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.