Prospects in Mexico for IOCs show positive signs

Deepwater Gulf of Mexico exploration and production may prove to be the lever that opens Mexico to international oil company (IOC) participation.

Offshore staff

HOUSTONDeepwater Gulf of Mexico exploration and production may prove to be the lever that opens Mexico to international oil company (IOC) participation.

Mexico currently is seeing a drop in production that could be alleviated by success in the GoM, but the state-owned Petróleos Mexicanos does not have the technical experience to operate in such deepwater, said George Baker, managing principal, Baker & Associates speaking at BNamericas’ LatAm Oil & Gas Summit.

That, coupled with the currentpush by Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto to change the national rules to permit companies outside of Mexico to enter profit-sharing agreements, could succeed in changing the operating agreements sufficiently to permit IOCs to enter.

That does not necessarily change the prevailing “national narrative” about ownership of the reserves, however, Baker pointed out. Whether the reforms are adopted and, if so, in what form, remains to be seen.

Baker also noted that the international agreement between Mexico and the United States regarding cross-border development of fields in the Gulf also could help foster the changes, if it is approved by both parties.

9/12/13

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