More than 40 oil companies have sought access to geological data under Mexico’s first oil auction in eight decades, showing interest in the process is holding up despite stubbornly low oil prices, according to the nation’s hydrocarbons regulator.
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, according to the National Hydrocarbons Commission.
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 advance in round one is very gratifying, especially in the circumstances we are in, with oil prices down by 50%,” the commission’s president, Juan Carlos Zepeda, said in an interview.
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.