Mexico again adjusts its auction requirements for offshore oil rights

Mexico has again adjusted the requirements for bidders in its next auction of offshore oil and gas drilling rights, it was announced on Wednesday.

The loosening of bid criteria and easing of contract terms have followed the damp squib of the first round of historic auctions when only two of 14 exploration blocks on offer were rewarded.

That poor takeup had led Mexico in late July to postpone an auction date and in early August to relax conditions for potential bidders.

Mexico is opening up its nationalised oil industry to outside private investment for the first time in 75 years as it tries to lure billions of dollars into a domestic industry which has been dominated by state firm Pemex in that time.

The next auction will see nine blocks on offer and the bid deadline is September 30.

CNH, the country’s oil regulator, said that the latest relaxing of the requirements will allow firms to carry out additional exploration and extraction activities in their geological areas, beyond the existing fields initially put up for bid and at greater depths.

The bond for bidding will be reduced from $2.5m to $1m and will only need to be paid once even if a firm bids on more than one block. The required minimum level of profits will also be reduced although the Finance Ministry will not reveal that amount until September 14.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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