Ecopetrol has won a bid in Mexico for a shared production contract for two blocks in the country’s latest auction to explore its shallow-water prospects.
The state-controlled oil company, through its Ecopetrol Global Energy subsidiary, was awarded partial control of two of the 10 holdings put up for tender by Mexico’s National Hydrocarbons Commission, which is overseeing the opening up of Mexico’s oil and gas sector after a decades-long public monopoly. Overall, this was the agency’s fifth auction since it began gradually bringing foreign investment to the sector in 2014.
Ecopetrol said that pursuing these projects is part of its strategy to diversify its exploration and production, which has included several offshore discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico and Colombian Caribbean in recent years.
The first block, Area 6, is a concession that measures 559 square kilometers and will be developed jointly with PC Carigali Mexico, a subsidiary of Malaysian company Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas). The Mexican government will receive an operating profit of 65.19%, according to Ecopetrol.
The second block, Area 8, measures 586 square kilometers and will be developed with Mexican state-owned oil company Petróleos Mexicano (Pemex) as a partner. The government will receive an operating profit of 20.1%.
In a statement, Ecopetrol thanked the National Hydrocarbons Commission and its two partners on these projects, calling this “the beginning of a solid, responsible, and lasting relationship for the benefit of our countries and the shareholders of our companies.”
In the auction, Eni SpA of Italy also won three bids, the most by any individual company. Repsol of Spain, Royal Dutch Shell, and Total SA of France also made winning bids, the commission said earlier this week.