After disappointing results from its last action round, the Mexican government is sprucing up the terms of its new auction for oil and gas blocks off the coast, said the Financial Times.
The Mexican oil sector was opened up to competition earlier this year, with the first bid round being held in July.
However, the results were disappointing to a government bent on bringing in further investment.
Only 2 of the 14 blocks on offer were awarded, shocking the government’s hope for further investment in the sector. The bids submitted were also much lower than expected, reported Bloomberg.
“The problem is timing — it’s not right,” said Fadel Gheit, an analyst at Oppenheimer & Co. in New York. “There’s not enough money around. It has nothing to do with the quality of the assets or the rules and regulations.”
The new blocks on offer have exploration work already complete, thus assuring potential bidders that they hold significant potential.
Loan guarantee requirements have also dropped dramatically, from $6b to $1b.
Major investors are lined up to bid, including Lukoil, Chevron, and Shell. But analysts warn that there is not likely to be a strong response to this auction either, as the most lucrative blocks are not included in the auction.
“The lessons from the first tender were that the consortium rules were too restrictive, the financial guarantees were too high and there was the issue of the timing of disclosure of the minimum price,” said Carlos Zepeda, head of the National Hydrocarbons Commission.
“The rules are now more flexible, the guarantees lower and the minimum prices were disclosed two weeks before the auction.” Zapeda added. “We did our homework. This was a learning process, and we have learnt.”