Mexico Sees $44 Billion in Investment for Deep Water Oil Fields

  • Mexico to auction 10 deep water offshore fields next year
  • Bidders must have previous experience in deepwater drilling

On the heels of Mexico’s most successful private oil auction, the country announced plans today for its most lucrative and ambitious sale of crude fields since opening the national industry to private participants.

Mexico will auction 10 offshore fields for exploration and development next year in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, estimating that each field will require an investment of $4.4 billion during the life of the contract, Deputy Energy Minister Lourdes Melgar said today in Mexico City. Participants in the auction, which will be held in the second half of next year, must have previous experience operating in deep water fields and will be contracted to operate for 35 to 50 years, she said.

“One of the principal objectives of the energy reform is to take advantage of the national riches found in deep waters,” Energy Minister Pedro Joaquin Coldwell said today. “We are starting the process to bring in the companies that have the capital and technology required to explore and produce oil and gas from the deep waters of the ocean.”

The announcement of the deep water bidding guidelines follows Mexico’s successful sale of 100 percent of its 25 onshore fields to private companies on Dec. 15. Mexico has awarded 69 percent of the fields auctioned in the country’s first-ever three bid rounds this year, accounting for around $7 billion in estimated investment, Coldwell said. Mexico ended Petroleos Mexicanos’s long-standing crude production monopoly last year to welcome private participants to develop oil.

Of the 10 deep water fields to be auctioned, four are in the Perdido area near the maritime border with the U.S. and six are in the southern gulf’s Cuenca Salina. Seventy-six percent of the country’s prospective resources are located in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, according to Coldwell.

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