Mexican state-owned oil giant Petroleos Mexicanos said it informed the Energy Secretariat of the oil fields it would like to keep in the wake of an historic energy overhaul, including areas it has been exploring and others already under production.
The company said in a statement that it submitted the list by Friday’s deadline in compliance with the terms of last year’s overhaul, which ended its monopoly on crude development.
Pemex did not make the list public but said it informed the secretariat of its technical, financial and executional capacity to explore and produce hydrocarbons in an “efficient and competitive manner.”
The company also presented a development plan for those areas and fields, including descriptions of the work and investment to be undertaken.
“It is now up to the Energy Secretariat, with technical assistance from the National Hydrocarbons Commission, to make the relevant evaluations” by the Sept. 17, 2014, deadline, the company said, referring to the conclusion of the so-called Zero Round.
Once a decision has been made on the fields Pemex will maintain, the Energy Secretariat can determine which offshore and onshore areas it will make available to oil majors in the first round of an international bidding process.
Mexican authorities are counting on the energy overhaul to enable increased production at mature fields and deep-water areas, as well as the development of difficult-to-access shale-gas reserves.
Supporters of the shake-up say the participation of major multinational energy companies under profit- and production-sharing contracts and licenses is needed to boost sagging oil output.
Production has fallen by nearly a quarter from a high of 3.3 million barrels per day in 2004 due to a sharp decline in output at offshore Cantarell, formerly Mexico’s most productive field, and a lack of investment.
The move to end Pemex’s monopoly, in place since the company was created in 1938 as part of then-President Lazaro Cardenas nationalization of the oil industry, is a thorny issue in Mexico because the state-owned firm has long been a symbol of national sovereignty.