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Qatar Petroleum & partners win exploration rights in 5 offshore blocks in Mexico
02 February 2018, 12:03 | Cedric Leonard
Mexico to Hold Major Deep-Water Oil Auction Today
For four of the blocks, Shellbid jointly with Qatar Petroleum and for the fifth one it acted in partnership with Pemex.
Royal Dutch Shell RDSa.L snapped up nine of 19 oil and gas blocks awarded in Mexico's prized Gulf of Mexico deep waters, emerging the clear victor in the country's biggest auction since the energy sector was opened up to foreign oil firms.
"We're in, we want to explore and we want to find oil and gas", said Faisal Bakar, Carigali's country manager in Mexico. Ahead of the bid round, the government had said it expected only seven of the 29 blocks on offer to be awarded. The five blocks that it will explore with partners are in the Perdido Fold belt-very close to a block in the USA section of the Gulf of Mexico, where Shell also yesterday announced a significant oil discovery.
"Deep water is an important growth priority as we reshape Shell into a world-class investment case", said Andy Brown, Upstream director for Shell.
The winning bids were announced yesterday by the National Hydrocarbon Commission of Mexico (CNH) at the conclusion of a public bidding session in Mexico City, during which CNH also received the competing bids, said a statement.
With oil prices CLc1 LCOc1 near a three-year high, energy firms are emerging from a recession.
Shell was the biggest victor in the bidding round, in which 10 blocks drew no bids. Argentina, Uruguay and Ecuador are also auctioning oil and gas fields this year.
With the landmark change, President Enrique Pena Nieto cleared the path for auctions in a bid to inject foreign capital into the politically-sensitive state-owned oil industry. Officials estimate that the 19 blocks could see some US$93 billion investments poured into them, after the successful bidders paid a combined US$500 million for the exploration rights.
Around 30 companies from 16 countries will participate today in the largest auction of oil blocks made since the implementation of the energy reform in Mexico.
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