More details have been revealed by Pemex regarding the 2nd round of ISCs awarded earlier this week.  Pemex reported that 31 companies participated in the bidding process. In the end, the NOC received 28 offers and awarded 4 contracts to the companies that offered the best price and investment conditions.

Pemex explained that the auctions for the Arenque and Atún offshore areas were declared null, given that offers for the first area did not meet Pemex’s price expectations, while no companies bid for the second area. Carlos Morales Gil, director of Pemex E&P, elaborated further by stating that the lack of proposals for Atún had to do with the fact that this area requires some exploration work, and the companies interested could not figure out a way of offering the lowest price without having to reduce efficiency.

Pemex added that all participating companies had the opportunity to visit the NOC’s data room, as well as the areas on offer. They were also given the option of attending workshops on technical and economic issues and tender clarification meetings.

Monclova Pirineos Gas and its partner company, Alfasid del Norte, won both the Tierra Blanca and the San Andrés blocks. The consortium, which includes Mexican, Colombian and Venezuelan companies, offered Pemex a price per barrel of US$4.12 for Tierra Blanca and US$3.49 for San Andrés.  These were the most attractive offers not only for the 2 blocks, but for all the projects on tender.

Cheiron Holdings Limited, a subsidiary of Egyptian company Pico International Petroleum, offered Pemex a price per barrel of US$5.01, thus winning the Altamira block. Oil giants Schlumberger and Petrofac, winners of the contract for the Pánuco block, submitted an offer of US$7 per barrel extracted.

Four companies submitted offers for the Arenque block, a reservoir off the coast of Tamaulipas State, none of them beyond the price set by Pemex of US$7.25. Dragados put up the best offer at US$10.78 p/bbl, while Burgos offered a fee per barrel of US$24.

Despite the fact that the two areas with the most prospective resources, Atún and Arenque, were declared void, Pemex still hopes that the contracts awarded will contribute to double production in the Northern Region and increase Mexico’s overall oil output. The four projects awarded match the profiles of the winning companies, most of which specialize in onshore drilling.

Given the results of this round of ISCs, one has to wonder if the next round, which is set to include the Chicontepec area and other deepwater projects, will yield the results Pemex is so desperately looking for.

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