Mexico awards first private oil contracts

19th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

Mexico's state-owned oil company Pemex said Thursday it had granted three operating contracts to private British and Mexican firms, putting an end to a state monopoly in place since 1993.

The oil fields concerned, all in eastern Tabasco state, are already operational and have reserves of 207 million barrels, Pemex director general Juan Jose Suarez Coppel said at a ceremony in the state capital Villahermosa.

According to the terms of the contracts, British company Petrofac Facilities Management Limited will operate and produce 771 wells in the Magallanes field and 225 wells in the Santuario field.

The Mexican company Administradora en Proyectos de Campos, based in Monterrey, will operate 43 wells in Carrizo.

The companies are the first foreign firms to operate fields in Mexico, the world's seventh-largest producer of crude oil and the second-largest exporter in Latin America.

More than 17 companies responded to Pemex's call for bids launched in March as the state agency looks to boost production in the fields from 15,000 to 55,000 barrels a day.

Pemex aims to develop new technical capabilities that could bolster Mexican production of crude oil, which stabilized at 2.5 million barrels per day in 2010 after having fallen in recent years.

Oil is the country's principal source of revenue, bringing in $58.3 billion in 2010, but Mexico still imports a good portion of its oil from the United States due to a lack of refining capacity.

© 2011 AFP

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