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MEXICO CITY, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Mexico will publish between March and April the new number of fields of shale and other more expensive oil and gas deposits to be tendered under an energy reform finalized last year, the National Hydrocarbons Commission (NHC) said on Monday.
The government has for weeks signaled the need to scale back some costlier fields amid a sharp drop in oil prices.
"A redefinition is required, looking at the reality of the markets," NHC President Juan Carlos Zepeda told reporters.
The likely reduced number of blocks for the exploration and production of shale and other more expensive oil and gas deposits, including parts of the Chicontepec basin, will be published between March and April, he said.
Zepeda said that the cost of production of shale is around $40 a barrel, while at the Chicontepec basin it oscillates between $15 and $40 per barrel.
"It's for this reason that shale principally needs to be revised and adjusted...that doesn't meant there can't be some areas of shale," he added.
International oil prices have fallen 60 percent from their peak in June 2014. The price of Mexican crude mix has fallen from its maximum of around $137 in July 2008 to $42.27 at the close on Monday.
The tender for Mexico's first round of contracts under a historic energy sector opening began in December with the initial package of shallow water fields. (Reporting by Adriana Barrera; Editing by Sunil Nair)