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Mexico aims to squeeze in another oil and gas lease auction by the end of this year in an attempt to finalize a growing roster of drilling deals before a new administration takes the reigns, according to a new report by Reuters.
“We have three auctions already announced (for this year) and we expect one more before the end of this presidential period, which is for heavy crude in shallow waters,” Mexico’s Deputy Energy Secretary Aldo Flores said on the sidelines of CERAWeek in Houston.
Back in January, the Mexican government awarded 19 deep water blocks to a slew of companies for development, bringing $93 billion in foreign direct investment to the country.
Shell snapped up 9 out of the 19 awarded blocks and bid aggressively on the deepwater blocks closest to the U.S. maritime border. Six months earlier, Shell had made a large deepwater oil discovery on the U.S. side of the Perdido area. Since oil firms are not legally obliged to announce discoveries, Shell postponed the announcement of the discovery until the day of the Mexican auction, as it wanted to secure the adjacent blocks in the Mexican waters.
Half of the nation’s oil comes from drilling in shallow waters in the Gulf of Mexico. New investment was necessary to guarantee supply to sizeable U.S. customers on the other side of the border. National output is currently on the decline.
The Mexican oil regulator and the national oil company PEMEX are also in talks to open heavy oil drilling opportunities to private actors, Reuters reported.
“There is a very large potential there. We are seeing this (project) as a package, but have not yet defined the specific model for it. We are evaluating it,” Flores said.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…