As part of the efforts to open the Mexican oil and gas sector to private participation, the authorities launched Round One, in which 160 onshore and offshore blocks will be tendered according to basins and types of hydrocarbons. The opening of the market is meant to help the country’s production decline and share the high costs of increasing production. On May 11, 2015, the Mexican authorities approved the 26 onshore areas that will comprise the next stage of Round One. CNH will release the bidding rules on Tuesday, May 12 of the same year. The third bidding round, consisting of onshore areas, follows the previous packages of 14 production blocks and five exploration areas divided among 24 contracts. The onshore areas range in size from about 7.7km2 to 60km2 and will be tendered as 26 individual contracts. The 26 onshore oil and gas areas to be tendered are spread across five states: Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Chiapas, and Tabasco. According to Edgar Rangel, Commissioner at CNH, the onshore fields that will be tendered in the next stage of Round One contain 2.5 billion boe in 1P, 2P, and 3P reserves. According to CNH, crude oil output in these areas could reach 35,000b/d and natural gas production could amount to 225mcf/d. The fields also contain several rock types, and the reservoirs are located at depths ranging from 500-7,000m.
The types of oil that can be found inthese reservoirs go from extra-light to heavy. Juan Carlos Zepeda, President Commissioner of CNH, said this tender will favorably impact the emergence of Mexico’s new petroleum industry. He also highlighted that the pre-qualification requirements for the 26 contracts will not focus on the bidders’ operational or financial capabilities, as in the case of the previous tenders. Instead, it will concentrate on the track record of the companies’ engineering teams. In this sense, this round will be quite attractive for national companies, pushing the development of Mexico’s private oil and gas sector. Some of these companies have gained valuable experience after years of providing services to PEMEX, and now it is their chance to show their capabilities as independent operators. The results of the onshore phase of Round One will be announced on December 15, 2015, if everything goes according to schedule. The subsequent stages will include tenders for deepwater and extra-heavy oil fields, and unconventional resources such as shale reservoirs.
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