Canadian Manufacturing

Low oil prices may delay bidding on Mexico exploration deals

Mexico's finance secretary said bidding likely to be delayed for so-called unconventional exploration projects



MEXICO CITY—Plunging oil prices may delay bidding on some oil and gas exploration and production contracts, according to Mexico’s finance secretary.

Luis Videgaray said in a radio interview it is likely bidding will be delayed for so-called unconventional exploration projects, such as shale deposits that are more challenging in terms of access or technology.

As part of historic energy reforms allowing foreign investment in exploration and production, Mexico began a bidding process in December called Round One that plans contracts for 169 zones, including some that would be unconventional.

Toronto-based Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp. said in October 2014 it signed a three-year deal with Mexico’s state oil company, Petroleos Mexicanos, to explore the potential of future oil and gas and projects.

A producer of natural gas and crude oil, the company has operations throughout Latin American, including Colombia, Peru, Guatemala, Brazil, Guyana and Belize.

Global oil prices have plummeted, including Mexican crude, which stood at US$38.52 a barrel on Jan. 15.

Such low prices make more costly exploration and production projects less attractive.

The first piece of Round One bidding was for 14 shallow water areas.

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