Mexico to merge tenders and joint venture plan in oil opening
By David Alire Garcia
CANCUN, Mexico, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Mexico will seek joint ventures for state oil company Pemex at the same time it invites bidding from companies on oil fields during a historic opening of the industry to private investment, the government said on Friday.
Detailing a road map for investment since Congress finalized a reform of the industry in August, the energy ministry said the first contracts would be awarded next May, earlier than the third-quarter target previously envisioned.
That would happen in tandem with initial joint ventures, the first of which had been set for the first quarter of 2015, officials said at a conference in the beach resort of Cancun.
President Enrique Pena Nieto's reform ends Pemex's 75-year monopoly and paves the way for a Round One tender as well as first-ever joint venture between Pemex and private companies.
The tender and an initial 10 "farm-outs," or joint ventures with Pemex cover a total of about 29,000 square km (11,200 square miles) and nearly 20 billion barrels of oil equivalent.
"Round One will present both (fields) that are in the hands of the state and Pemex farm-outs," the deputy energy minister for hydrocarbons, Lourdes Melgar, said at the event attended by executives of companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp and Royal Dutch Shell Plc.
Round One will bid out 169 fields, including 60 already in production, spanning unconventional, or non-traditional, production areas along the U.S.-Mexico border, shallow and deepwater projects.
"We believe if you put those thing together, (the companies) will be able to make a better investment decision," said Juan Carlos Zepeda, president of the National Hydrocarbons Commission, the newly beefed-up oil sector regulator. Continuación...