June 9, 2016 / 6:37 PM / 2 years ago

Pemex to present board with first deep-water private sector tie-up

MONTERREY, Mexico, June 9 (Reuters) - Mexico’s state oil company Pemex will present to its board this week its first possible deep-water tie-up with private firms, a long-awaited landmark of Mexico’s energy reform that opened the sector to private investment, an energy ministry official said on Thursday.

Pemex was awarded blocks in a 2014 oil tender known as “Round Zero” and it is looking for private partners to help it develop the so-called “farm outs,” which have been plagued by delays.

As part of the “farm out” process, Pemex cannot chose which company would help it develop each project, but is free to suggest specific partners with which to work. The ultimate decision lies with the National Hydrocarbons Commission.

“It’ll be taken to the board, and one of the themes will be the migration of one allocation ... a deep-water allocation,” said Marco Cota, the director of exploration and extraction of hydrocarbons in the energy ministry.

Since 2014, Pemex has said it is looking for tie-ups in the Trion and Exploratus fields, which are located in the Perdido area near the U.S. border.

Cota said that the aim was for this Perdido “farm out” to take place at the same time as a major deep-water tender later this year.

Mexico’s oil regulator has scheduled its first-ever deep water auction in early December for 10 blocks in the Gulf of Mexico, after constitutional amendments in 2013 ended a nearly eight-decade monopoly by Pemex.

The government hopes the oil sector opening will revive oil output in Mexico, which has been falling since 2004. (Writing by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Adriana Barrera and Marguerita Choy)

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