Mexico To Auction 14 Contracts For Onshore Oil Exploration In July

Reuters

MEXICO CITY, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Mexico will auction 14 contracts for licenses to explore and extract hydrocarbons from onshore areas as part of the third phase of its Round Two oil tender, the national oil regulator CNH said on Monday.

The blocks to be tendered include 25 fields and areas in the gas-rich Burgos basin, Tampico-Misantla, the Southeast basins and in the state of Veracruz, the CNH said.

The contracts will be awarded in July 2017.

Of the blocks, the five areas for exploration and production to be offered in the Southeast basins are expected to contain light crude and gas, the remaining fields offered could contain rich gas, lean gas, crude or condensates, according to the CNH.

Hoping to reverse slumping crude output, Mexico ended the decades-long monopoly of national oil company Pemex in 2013, opening the door to more private capital in the sector.

A sharp fall in crude prices over the past couple years, however, has made that harder.

CNH Commissioner Hector Acosta said that one of the auction blocks is in a cross-border area and the contract winner would have to negotiate an agreement with Pemex, which is obligated to have at least a 20-percent stake in such fields.

He also said the Tampico-Misantla block could potentially impact conservation areas, but Mexico's Energy Ministry has not yet divulged any measures to avoid harming the protected zones.

(Reporting by Adriana Barrera; Writing by Natalie Schachar and Christine Murray; Editing by Sandra Maler)

Copyright 2016 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

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