CNH, Mexico’s oil and gas industries regulator, said on Monday the country’s latest round of offshore oil rights auctions exceeded expectations, according to Reuters.
In all, two thirds of the available shallow-water oil and gas blocks were taken up.
Early bidding, for sites in the Tampico-Misantla and Veracruz areas, was slow. But the pace picked up when areas of the Southeast Basin were on the block.
At the end of the day 10 of the 15 blocks on offer found successful bidders.
The auction is the latest stage in Mexico’s opening up of its energy sector to private and foreign companies in an effort to improve the industry’s productivity and profitability.
This process, ongoing since 2013, is part of the loosening of state firm Pemex’s 75-year monopoly grip on the sector.
Italian multinational Eni took one block by itself and two others as part of consortia.
Russia’s Lukoil took one block as did a partnership of France’s Total and Royal Dutch Shell.
Pemex still enjoyed some success, getting blocks in consortia – one with Colombia’s Ecopetrol and another with Germany’s Deutsche Erdoel AG.
Ecopetrol also won a block in a consortium with PC Carigali, a unit of Malaysia’s Petronas.
Mexico’s Energy Minister Pedro Joaquin Coldwell said the auctioned blocks had the potential for 170,000 barrels per day of output and for investments that could reach $8.2bn.