MEXICO CITY – Details of the third phase of the Round One oil and gas offerings will be released next week, with 29 onshore areas in five states to be auctioned off, the Mexican Energy Secretariat said.
The auction rules for the areas in Chiapas, Nuevo Leon, Tabasco, Tamaulipas and Veracruz states will be made public on May 12, the secretariat said in a statement.
Contracts covering the areas included in the third phase of the auction process will be awarded in November.
The auction provides an “opportunity for Mexican companies, both existing and newly created ones, to operate in fields of this type,” giving them the experience needed to “enter more complex areas in future rounds,” the secretariat said.
Two phases of Round One have been presented so far, covering 169 oil exploration and production blocks.
The first phase of Round One, which began last December, included 14 shallow-water exploration blocks in a 4,222-sq.-kilometer (1,630-sq.-mile) area off the coasts of the southeastern states of Veracruz, Tabasco and Campeche.
A total of 42 companies paid the fees to obtain the auction documents and 31 filed the forms to be pre-qualified to bid on the contracts to be awarded on July 15.
The second phase of the Round One oil and gas offerings started in February and covered nine shallow-water fields in the Gulf of Mexico, with the results scheduled to be released on Sept. 30.
Eight of the 22 companies that requested access to the auction documents actually paid to register to bid in the second phase.
The fields to be awarded are located in a 281-sq.-kilometer (108-sq.-mile) area off the coasts of the southeastern states of Tabasco and Campeche, and contain reserves estimated at 671 million barrels of oil equivalent.
The auction is the product of a 2013 overhaul that opened Mexico’s oil and gas industry to private investment for the first time since 1938.
The government is looking to the energy overhaul to attract tens of billions of dollars in investment and reverse a roughly 30 percent decline in Mexico’s oil output, which peaked at 3.38 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2004 and currently stands at roughly 2.43 million bpd.
State-owned oil company Petroleos Mexicanos reserved 83 percent of Mexico’s proven and probable reserves and 21 percent of potential reserves for itself in a so-called “Zero Round” of non-competitive bidding last year.