Mexico’s energy industry regulator the National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH) has announced that its next round of tenders for offshore oil and gas development rights has attracted 36 companies from 14 countries.
Bids will open on March 27 and the bidders will be competing for rights in 35 shallow-water contractual areas which will be offered as production-sharing bids.
It will be the third round of bidding since Mexico started loosening the near 80-year monopoly grip of state oil firm Pemex in 2013 and began its energy reform policy of allowing foreign firms to enter the market.
US-based Chevron, Italy’s Eni and France’s Total are among the confirmed bidders along with Pemex.
Blocks on offer are in the Burgos basin offshore Tamaulipas state (14 fields in water depths up to 500 metres), the Tampico-Misantla-Veracruz (TMV) basin (13 blocks in depths up to 860m), and the Cuencas del Sureste basin (eight blocks in depths up to 880m).
Meanwhile Mexico’s national President Enrique Pena Nieto has issued a strong defence of the energy reforms in the wake of his main challenger threatening to end the policy.
Pena Nieto said the new openness will attract investment, boost the economy and creates jobs.
Leftist challenger Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, favoured to win July’s election, would consider reversing the policy and reviewing the contracts already signed. But defenders of reform say already-signed contracts cannot be revoked by a president alone without CNH.