Mexico’s National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH) held the final tender of its Round 2 E&P licensing process on Wednesday, awarding 19 of 29 deepwater blocks on offer across the Gulf of Mexico.
Round 2.4 had a 65.5% success rate, far surpassing the expectations of the country’s oil and gas regulators. Authorities had previously said that the tender would be considered a success if 25%, or about seven blocks, were granted. With an estimated USD 4.5 billion in investments expected over the lifetime of each contract, the country stands to rake in a total of around USD 85.5 billion from this auction alone.
The big winners of the tender included Shell, which won nine blocks in total, five of which were in consortium with either NOC Pemex or newcomer Qatar Petroleum. With the second-highest number of blocks awarded, the international E&P arm of Malaysia’s Petronas, PC Carigali, added six blocks to the three it already had in the country. Pemex itself took home four areas, incorporating two new partnerships to its growing list of upstream associations.
Two of the 10 companies that won licences in Round 2.4 are completely new E&P players in Mexico. With the close of Round 2, 77 new players are now participating alongside NOC Pemex in the domestic upstream sector, which was opened through energy reform legislation passed in 2014.
The majority of granted blocks were won by consortiums, with 11 partnerships getting 35-year licence agreements. The trend follows that of all of the seven previous E&P tenders that Mexico has conducted since 2015.
Of the 29 blocks auctioned, nine were located in the Perdido Fold Belt, while 10 each were offered in the country’s Salina Basin and Cordilleras Mexicanas area. This tender represented the largest single group of E&P blocks that Mexican regulators have auctioned in the country’s history.
The complete results of Round 2.4 are as follows:
1. Perdido Fold Belt Area 1 – Not awarded
2. Perdido Fold Belt Area 2 – Shell and Pemex Exploración y Producción
3. Perdido Fold Belt Area 3 – Shell and Qatar Petroleum
4. Perdido Fold Belt Area 4 – Shell and Qatar Petroleum
5. Perdido Fold Belt Area 5 – Pemex Exploración y Producción
6. Perdido Fold Belt Area 6 – Shell and Qatar Petroleum
7. Perdido Fold Belt Area 7 – Shell and Qatar Petroleum
8. Perdido Fold Belt Area 8 – Not awarded
9. Perdido Fold Belt Area 9 – Not awarded
10. Cordilleras Mexicanas Area 10 – Repsol, PC Carigali and Ophir Energy
11. Cordilleras Mexicanas Area 11 – PC Carigali, PTT Exploration and Production, and Ophir Energy
12. Cordilleras Mexicanas Area 12 – Not awarded
13. Cordilleras Mexicanas Area 13 – Not awarded
14. Cordilleras Mexicanas Area 14 – Repsol and PC Carigali
15. Cordilleras Mexicanas Area 15 – Not awarded
16. Cordilleras Mexicanas Area 16 – Not awarded
17. Cordilleras Mexicanas Area 17 – Not awarded
18. Cordilleras Mexicanas Area 18 – Pemex Exploración y Producción
19. Cordilleras Mexicanas Area 19 – Not awarded
20. Salina Basin Area 20 – Shell
21. Salina Basin Area 21 – Shell
22. Salina Basin Area 22 – Chevron, Pemex Exploración y Producción and Inpex
23. Salina Basin Area 23 – Shell
24. Salina Basin Area 24 – Eni and Qatar Petroleum
25. Salina Basin Area 25 – PC Carigali
26. Salina Basin Area 26 – PC Carigali
27. Salina Basin Area 27 – Not awarded
28. Salina Basin Area 28 – Shell
29. Salina Basin Area 29 – Repsol, PC Carigali, Sierra Nevada and PTT Exploration and Production