Mexico’s first deep-water drilling rights tender produced results far better than the country’s Energy Minister claimed to hope for last week.
Perhaps Pedro Joaquin Coldwell was trying to pre-empt potential disappointment when he said he would be satisfied if four of the Gulf of Mexico blocks were awarded.
In the event the historic bidding saw eight out of 10 possible offshore oil and gas contracts awarded and that was on top of the headline of the bids, the farm-out of the Trion field to a unit of Australian firm BHP Billiton.
This round of bidding is the high point so far of Mexico’s energy reform policy which is stripping state oil firm Pemex of its monopoly position, although it remains a partner in one of the eight blocks and in the Trion field with BHP Billiton.
The eight other awards were made to: CNOOC (of China) which earned two blocks; a consortium of Statoil (Norway), BP (UK) and Total (of France) which earned two blocks; a consortium of Total and ExxonMobil (of the US); a consortium of Chevron (US), Inpex (Japan) and Pemex; a consortium of PC Caligari (Malaysia) and Sierra Offshore (Mexico); a consortium of Murphy Sur (US), Ophir (UK), PC Caligari and Sierra Offshore.
Statoil will be the operating partner in its two blocks.
Two of the blocks were not bid on.
The influx of mostly foreign companies is expected to improve Mexico’s offshore production efficiency and output after more than seven decades of Pemex domination.