RPT-Mexico awaits next oil round with cautious optimism


(Repeats June 16 story for wider distribution.)
    MEXICO CITY, June 16 (Reuters) - Mexico is looking forward
to its next round of offshore oil auctions on Monday with
guarded optimism thanks to robust interest from oil majors for
the shallow-water tenders.
    On Monday, Mexico auctions 15 oil and gas blocks along the
southern coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico in the next stage
of the country's historic opening of the industry following a
2013-14 energy reform.
    In December 2013Congress changed the constitution to end a
75-year production and exploration monopoly enjoyed by state oil
company Pemex in a bid to reverse years of declining output.
    Among the companies that prequalified to compete are Chevron
Corp <CVX.N>, ConocoPhillips <COP.N>, Eni SpA <ENI.MI>, Repsol
SA <REP.MC>, Royal Dutch Shell Plc <RDSa.L>, Total SA <TOTF.PA>
and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC Ltd)
    All told, 20 companies signed up to take part on an
individual basis, with 16 consortia also on the list.
    Energy Minister Pedro Joaquin Coldwell said he was hopeful
that at least 35 to 40 percent of the blocks would be won.
    "The pleasing thing about this auction is the high number of
consortia taking part, which is a sign there will be plenty of
bids," he told Reuters on Friday. "There wouldn't be much point
in forming a consortium and then not making an offer."
    How many blocks were snapped up would depend on whether
bidding focused on just a few areas, or many, he added.
    The auction is the fifth since the energy reform, including
one deep-water and two previous shallow-water tenders, yielding
39 contracts signed with forecast investment over the life of
the contracts at $48.8 billion, according to energy ministry
    Juan Carlos Zepeda, head of the oil regulator known as CNH
which oversees the auction, also saw the number of equity
tie-ups among oil companies as a positive sign, expressing
optimism that "a bit more than the international benchmark of 30
percent" could be assigned.
    The blocks up for auction are spread between the coastal
waters of the Gulf states of Veracruz, Tabasco and Campeche,
with an average size of 594 square kilometers.
    If successful, the blocks could yield production of some
200,000 barrels per day (bpd) in five years, the CNH estimates.
    Total crude oil production in Mexico now stands at 2.01
million bpd, down from a peak of 3.38 million bpd in 2004.

 (Reporting by Ana Isabel Martinez and Dave Graham; Editing by
Matthew Lewis)
 ((dave.graham@thomsonreuters.com)(+52 1 55 5282 7146)(Reuters
Messaging: dave.graham.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))


This article appears in: World Markets , Stocks , Oil
Referenced Symbols: 0883 , COP , CVX , ENI , RDSA

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