San Francisco: Mexico gave its approval on Tuesday for a number of foreign firms to bid on some of the country’s shallow-water exploration rights.
American giants ExxonMobil and Chevron were among the 19 companies and seven groups permitted to bid.
This marks the first time since 1938 that Mexico will allow foreign private firms access to its oil and gas fields.
Mexico forecasts that the opening of the energy industry will bring in $62.5 billion in private investment by 2018 and increase its annual oil output by 500,000 barrels a day.
Bidding on 14 blocks in the Gulf is scheduled to begin July 15.
In addition to these 14 shallow-water blocks up for grabs in July, Mexico’s oil regulator CNH will also auction 9 other shallow-water blocks in the Gulf of Mexico in September and 26 onshore blocks in December.