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Mexico's Pemex: 16 Companies Qualify to Bid on Oil Contracts

MEXICO CITY--Mexican state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos said Wednesday that 16 companies have qualified to bid for flexible service contracts to explore and produce oil in mature fields of northeastern Mexico. In a series of messages sent via its official Twitter account, Pemex said the companies include Chevron (CVX), Spain's Repsol YPF (REP.MC, REPYY), Baker Hughes (BHI), Halliburton (HAL), Schlumberger (SLB) and Weatherford (WFT), among others. The tender process is for a second round of incentive-based contracts under changes made in 2008 to Mexico's oil laws to give Pemex more flexibility in the work it farms out. Mexico's laws bar oil and gas concessions or risk contracts for private or foreign companies. The prohibition on concessions, or booking Mexican oil reserves, has so far discouraged oil majors from seeking contracts with Pemex, making the work more attractive to oil services companies. Not all of the companies that qualified will necessarily submit bids. Several of the candidates running in Mexico's July 1 presidential election have spoken of seeking changes to allow Pemex to carry out joint investments with private companies, while maintaining that the industry will continue in state hands. The latest round of contracts, which are expected to be awarded June 19, according to Pemex, are for six mature fields in Mexico's northern region. In January the company said it expects the fields to produce 100,000 barrels a day of oil within three or four years. Pemex currently produces around 2.5 million barrels a day of crude oil. -Write to Anthony Harrup at anthony.harrup@dowjones.com -0- Original Email Message: http://10.13.38.56/enewsmails/Links.aspx?Ac=6&ID=20120606-17070932-0

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