Mexico Unveils Licensing Plan to Add Million Barrels Output

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Mexico plans to auction 914 onshore and offshore oil areas in the next five years as the historic opening of the country’s energy industry aims to add 1 million barrels of production by 2025.

The areas are estimated to have prospective resources of 107 billion barrels of oil equivalent, Deputy Energy Minister Lourdes Melgar said Thursday in a presentation. Of the 914 fields, 670 will be auctioned for exploration projects with 244 for production, with 68.2 billion barrels of crude equivalent available in areas designated for extraction, Melgar said.

The auction details provide a blueprint for the breadth of Mexico’s plans to open the previously state-run oil industry to increase crude production that has fallen for 10 straight years. Mexico finalized legislation last year to end Petroleos Mexicanos state-run monopoly and to open the oil industry to private investment in an attempt to increase output and generate as much as $62.5 billion in investment by 2018.

The bulk of the estimated oil and gas production is forecast to come from the Chicontepec basin, which holds an estimated 42.1 billion barrels of oil equivalent in 12 fields, according to the Energy Ministry.

Chicontepec “will play a fundamental role in the development of the fields designated for extraction,” according to the text of the plan.

(An earlier version of this story corrected estimates in the second and fourth paragraphs.)

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