UPDATE 3-Mexico gets stronger demand in second oil auction, Eni among winners
(Adds expected investment from contracts)
By Adriana Barrera
MEXICO CITY, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Mexico awarded three out of five offshore production-sharing contracts on Wednesday in the second phase of its historic oil sector opening, comfortably beating the disappointing results of the first phase and giving a boost to the peso.
The auctions, part of a series aimed at reversing years of falling oil output, this time met the government's expectations and handed potentially lucrative contracts to Italian energy group Eni and two consortia.
"It's a positive step, but it's too early to tell where this is going," said Miriam Grunstein, a Mexico City-based energy specialist at Rice University. "You still have a small number of companies, small fields and we need more interesting players."
Traders said the outcome lifted the peso, following a sharp depreciation against the U.S. dollar in recent months.
Still, two of the contracts up for grabs, all for oil fields in the southern edge of the Gulf of Mexico, found no takers.
The fields on offer had already been discovered by state oil company Pemex, lowering geological risks for private operators.
Eni won the contract for the Amoca, Mizton and Tecoalli fields while a consortium of U.S.-based Fieldwood Energy and Mexico's Petrobal secured the Ichalkil and Pokoch fields. Continuación...