UPDATE 2-Mexico says oil slump may hit tenders, public spending
(Adds details on outlook for oil revenues in 2016)
By Adriana Barrera and Ana Isabel Martinez
MEXICO CITY Jan 15 (Reuters) - Mexico said on Thursday that tenders for the exploration and production of shale and other more expensive oil and gas deposits could happen later than planned because of the slump in oil prices, which could also hurt government spending in 2016.
The tender for Mexico's first round of contracts under an historic energy sector opening is already underway and includes several packages of fields grouped by type of basin.
Finance Minister Luis Videgaray told Mexican radio that one of the packages, first planned for 2015 and covering so-called non-conventional onshore fields, could be delayed.
Videgaray said the government might have to cut public spending in 2016 as the drop in crude prices begins to take its toll on Latin America's No. 2 economy and the reforms President Enrique Pena Nieto has banked on to revive lagging growth.
This year's public spending will not be hit, Videgaray said, thanks to an oil hedge agreed in November last year that guarantees 2015 exports at $76.40 a barrel.
Next year's spending, however, could be affected because Mexico is unwilling to borrow more or raise taxes to make up the shortfall.
"We need to start preparing ourselves for the adjustment," he said. "We're left with only one option, and that's reducing public spending." Continuación...