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The first round of tenders comprises 14 shallow water blocks, the contracts for which will be awarded in July. Contracts for extra-heavy oilfields will be awarded in August, ones for the onshore Chicontepec basin and non-conventional blocks in September, and those for other onshore blocks in November and deepwater acreage in December, according to the energy ministry's (Sener) tentative timeline.
State-owned oil firm Pemex is also a bidder and is analyzing which fields would be the most profitable and whether to form strategic partnerships, the director of the firm's exploration and production unit PEP, Gustavo Hernández, said in December.
The second shallow water tender, announced in early March, includes five contracts for shallow water extraction covering an area of 281km2 and for which Sener expects US$4.5bn in investment.
Total reserves in shallow water are estimated at 671Mboe, with production forecast to be 124,000b/d, Sener said.
The CNH made modifications to the shallow water auction on March 9.
Firms that pre-qualify, in terms of technical and financial suitability, for the first batch of tenders for round one will automatically qualify to compete for the second batch, according to CNH president Juan Carlos Zepeda.
The competing firms must demonstrate offshore production experience and have achieved output of at least 10,000b/d of crude or equivalent within the last five years.
The list of firms that successfully pre-qualify will be published by the CNH on May 15.
The firms that have so far been enrolled in the pre-qualification process and have paid to access data regarding the shallow water blocks are the following:
Atlantic Rim México
Cobalt Energía de México
Compañía Española de Petróleo (CEPSA)
E&P Hidrocarburos y Servicios
Japan Petroleum Exploration
Marathon Offshore Investment
Plains Acquisition Corporation
Sierra Oil & Gas
The rules governing the auction can be viewed here.