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Mexico Energy Law – Round 1 Update


Update regarding Mexico’s Licensing Round 1 shallow water oil and gas tender.

According to the Comisión Nacional de Hidrocarburos (e.g., the National Hydrocarbons Commission; “CNH”), as of Thursday, January 28th, 2015, twenty-three (23) companies have requested access to the data rooms from CNH in preparation for Mexico’s Licensing Round 1 shallow water tender. According to the CNH, the following companies had already been qualified to receive access to the Round 1 data room: ExxonMobil Exploración y Producción México, S de Rl de CV; Chevron Energia de México, S de RL de CV; Ecopetrol SA; BG Group México Exploration, SA de CV; Shell Exploración y Extracción de México, SA de CV; Hunt Overseas Oil Company; and BHP Billiton Petróleo Operaciones de México S de RL de CV. The companies that were recently approved by the CNH to receive access to the data rooms include the following: Cobalt Energía de México, S de RL de CV; Sierra Oil & Gas, S de RL de CV; ONGC Vindesh Limited; ENI International BV; Diavaz Offshore SAPl de CV; INPEX Corporation; Pacific Rubiales E&P México, SAPl de CV; and NBL México Inc. (subsidiary of Noble Energy Inc.).1

According to the CNH, the following companies are in the pipeline to be approved for access to bid on Round 1: Korea National Oil Company (“KNOC”); Pluspetrol Resources Corporation; Total E&P; Petrolium Nasional Bhd (Petronas); Lukoil; Hess Corporation; Statoil; and Galp Enrgia.2

The data rooms for the Licensing Round 1 opened on January 15, 2015, and visits to the physical CNH data rooms are scheduled for this week (February 2 – 6, 2015). Companies wishing to be prequalified to bid on Licensing Round 1 will have until March 31, 2015, to submit their prequalification documents. However, it’s important to note that prequalification documents must be presented in person and the last date to request a hearing to submit documents will be March 16, 2015. Bidding for the Licensing Round 1 is scheduled for July 12, 2015. A listing of significant dates and milestones for the Licensing Round 1 can be found at: The cost for accessing the data rooms is MXN $5.3 million (approximately US $355,000.00).

The Licensing Round 1 consists of 14 shallow water blocks in areas which have been described as having low exploration risk and are estimated to produce light oil: These are areas where there is already significant oil production. According to Mr. Juan Carlos Zepeda, head of the CNH, the cost of production in these areas is approximately US $20.00 a barrel, which makes them attractive even in the current environment of depressed oil prices.3

Mr. Zepeda, was quoted in an interview on Thursday as saying “What has been gratifying is that, despite the low oil price environment, we are seeing a lot of interest. The number of companies interested is moving with dynamism and has increased significantly.”

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