MEXICO CITY, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Mexico's energy regulator on Thursday authorized Italian oil producer Eni to drill a well in shallow waters in the Gulf of Mexico in order to ascertain the amount of hydrocarbons under the ground.
Drilling of the well, known as Amoca 2, will begin on Dec. 1, and is due to finish on March 11 next year, according to a measure approved by the National Hydrocarbons Commision (CNH).
The Amoca 2 well site is located 27 meters (88.6 feet) below the water surface, and 2.1 kilometers (yards) away from the original Amoca 1 well, where Eni expects to extract medium crude, the CNH said.
Eni won a contract to extract oil and gas from the shallow waters off the southeastern Mexican state of Tabasco last 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 state-oil company Pemex.
The government hopes the oil sector opening will revive oil output in Mexico, which has been falling since 2004. (Reporting by Adriana Barrera; Editing by Sandra Maler)