HOUSTON - Chevron Corp. is interested in developing matured oilfields off the coast of Mexico that are part of state-run oil firm Petroleos Mexicanos's second contract auction, according to public documents posted by Pemex on its website.
Chevron's interest in the Arenque Block is likely to be seen as a positive sign in Mexico's efforts to bring major oil companies back to its oilfields after it introduced a new upstream contract last year. Some analysts have said luring oil majors was likely to be a challenge because contract terms for the blocks don't allow companies to book oil and gas reserves.
Pemex has had a monopoly on Mexico energy exploration and production segment since Mexico nationalized assets from oil international firms, including Chevron and Exxon Mobil Corp., in 1938.
The auction is the second that Pemex has held since introducing the new contract regime, which now allows private producers to develop Mexican oil fields for Pemex in exchange for a per-barrel fee. Pemex retains its constitutional ownership of all national oil and gas resources.
The Arenque Block, discovered in 1968, is located in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
A Chevron spokesman said the company actively pursues new business opportunities globally, but declined to comment on any specific deal citing its policy.
Pemex will decide who gets to continue on technical merits on June 6 and reveal their economic offers on June 19. A total of 23 companies has presented a technical proposals, according to the documents. Decisions on the new regime could change as Mexico elects a new president on July 1, and a new Congress. The two presidential front-runners have sharply different views on private participation in Pemex. Enrique Pena Nieto of the centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party favors more Pemex reforms and Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the Party of the Democratic Revolution opposes them.
Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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