Over 40 oil companies have sought access to geological data under Mexicos first oil auction in eight decades, showing interest in the process is holding up despite stubbornly low oil prices, according to the nations hydrocarbons regulator, the Wall Street Journal reported.
“Since the auction, dubbed round one, kicked off in December, foreign and local oil companies have paid fees for access to data containing seismic information for the first set of oil blocks that Mexico will put out for bids. More than a dozen have shown interest in the second set,” the newspaper added, quoting the National Hydrocarbons Commission.
According to the Wall Street Journal the interested parties include global companies such as Chevron Corp. and BP PLC, regional competitor Ecopetrol SA, of Colombia, and Mexican upstart Sierra Oil & Gas.
The tally comes as the commission prepares for the third tender in the auction in April, this time for onshore fields likely to draw interest among small and midsize companies.
The first blocks are for exploration and production in shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico, where national oil company Petróleos Mexicanos extracts most of its 2.3 million barrels a day of crude oil. The auctions will be held in July for the exploratory blocks, and in September for discovered fields.