More deepwater drilling is anticipated in the Gulf of Mexico. More deepwater drilling is anticipated in the Gulf of Mexico.

Oil companies prepare for deepwater auction

Mexico will offer 29 tracts in the Gulf of Mexico in biggest sale yet

Twenty-six bidders will participate Wednesday in an auction of Mexico’s deepwater oil and gas reserves.

The world’s big oil explorers — including Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Chevron Corp. — have been enticed to bid on the 29 tracts with cut-rate prices for drilling rates, reports Bloomberg.

The list of bidders — nine individual firms and 17 consortiums from 16 countries — was released last week by the National Hydrocarbons Commission, which will live-stream Wednesday’s event.

It will be the biggest sale yet in terms of fields and expected investment since energy reform ended the monopoly of Pemex, the state oil company, in 2013, opening the energy sector to private investment.

The deepwater reserves have yet to be uncovered because Pemex didn’t have the technology to tap them.

More than 60 national and international companies have been awarded contracts for exploration and production in the Gulf of Mexico since reform was introduced.

Source: Offshore Energy Today (en), Bloomberg (en)

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