It joined hands with other companies to make the bids
KUALA LUMPUR : Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) emerged among the winning bidders during Mexico’s first competitive deepwater oil auction which attracted some of the world’s top multinational oil corporations.
Under its upstream arm Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd, the oil giant successfully secured two blocks as part of a consortium with other partners.
According to a Reuters report, Carigali’s unit PC Carigali Mexico Operations alongside Sierra Offshore Exploration were awarded the fourth block out tendered from the Gulf of Mexico’s Salina Basin.
Block 4 encompasses some 911 square miles and is said to contain some 392 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) in light and heavy crude as well as natural gas, according to Mexico’s energy ministry estimates.
Additionally, another consortium comprising PC Carigali Mexico, Ophir Mexico Holdings, Murphy Oil, and Sierra Offshore was awarded Block 5 from the Salina Basin, which comprise a 993.5 sq mile area with an estimated 621 million boe in light and heavy crude and natural gas.
PC Carigali is acting as an operator for block 4 in partnership with Sierra, which is backed by private equity giants BlackRock Inc and Riverstone Holdings.
Meanwhile, Murphy Oil is the operator for Block 5 with a 30% stake while PC Carigali owns a 23.34% stake in the venture.
In 2014, Petronas had signed a memorandum of understanding with Pemex to explore mutual co-operation opportunities between the two national oil companies.
At the time, the then-chief executive officer of Petronas Datuk Seri Shamsul Azhar Abbas was quoted as saying its entry into Mexico will provide a strategic platform for growth to complement and provide optionality to its North American resource base.
Other prominent global oil corporations were also among the winners.
A consortium of Statoil, BP and Total won Blocks 1 and 3 from the Salina Basin for a combined area of approximately 2,188 sq miles.
ExxonMobil and Total was awarded Block 2, which covers some 1,149 square miles, from the Gulf of Mexico’s Perdido Fold Belt off the US-Mexico maritime border.
China Offshore Oil Corp also scored a major coup after winning two of the 10 blocks on offer while BHP Billiton won a bid to partner up with Mexican state oil company Pemex for the Trion light field in the Gulf of Mexico.
There were no bids for two remaining blocks on offer.
The auction process concludes the first round of bids, which was the first time foreign firms were allowed to hold direct stakes in Mexican oil fields following the end of a 75-year monopoly by Pemex in the country’s energy sector.
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