MEXICO CITY Dec 20 State oil monopoly Pemex on
Thursday announced it will bid out to private contractors six
oil fields, all of which are located in the country's
Chicontepec basin, home to Mexico's largest certified
The auction, to take place in July, will mark the company's
third round of private, incentive-based service contracts
designed to boost production in mostly aging oil fields.
The blocks up for grabs -- Pitepec, Amatitlan, Soledad,
Miquetla, Humapa and Miahuapan -- include 2.205 million barrels
of crude oil equivalent, or 15 percent of Chicontepec's proven,
probable and possible (3P) reserves, Pemex said in a
The company added that the average size of the blocks is 125
square kilometers, each containing about 400 million barrels of
medium to light grade crude.
The blocks up for bid within the geologically complicated
Chicontepec basin, where drilling has continued for more than 80
years, are located onshore in the east-central states of
Veracruz and Puebla.
Mexico is the world's No. 7 oil producer but output has
stagnated in recent years, dropping by roughly a quarter since
hitting a peak of 3.4 million barrels per day in 2004.
On Tuesday, Pemex announced that November crude production
reached 2.577 million barrels per day, the highest level of
average output in nearly two years.
In a bid to shake up an industry that has been under state
control since 1938, the government has allowed private companies
to operate - but not to own - oil fields scattered around the
Under the private contracting scheme, fruit of reforms
passed by Mexico's Congress in 2008, companies win the right to
extract oil from mature fields and are paid a set fee per barrel
as an incentive, but the crude belongs to Pemex.
The scheme was designed to lure private investment and