UPDATE 6-Mexico's oil auction beats expectations despite oil price plunge

Tue Dec 15, 2015 11:48pm EST
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(Adds quote from oil regulator)

By David Alire Garcia and Adriana Barrera

MEXICO CITY Dec 15 (Reuters) - Mexico's oil regulator awarded all 25 contracts on offer on Tuesday, beating expectations despite a dramatic plunge in crude prices, in an auction aimed at boosting new Mexican oil companies after a historic sector reform finalized last year.

Peak oil production from the 25 onshore fields will reach 77,000 barrels per day and attract investment of $1.1 billion, Energy Minister Pedro Joaquin Coldwell said in a tweet following the auction. Mexican officials had said they would consider the auction a success if at least five contracts were awarded.

"This is a triumph for Mexico," Juan Carlos Zepeda, president of Mexico's oil regulator CNH told local radio after the auction.

Among the 14 consortiums with winning bids, there were a dozen small Mexican oil companies, marking a dramatic shift for a sector long dominated by state-owned Pemex.

No international oil major participated in the auction, which featured relatively small onshore blocks where Pemex has drilled in the past.

The Mexican consortium led by Geo Estratos was the auction's big winner, nabbing four contracts. Canada's Renaissance Oil Corp won three contracts, while Mexican start-up Strata Campos Maduros also claimed three.

Diavaz Offshore, a longtime domestic service provider to state-owned oil company Pemex, won two contracts.   Continued...