(Recasts with oil auction comments)
MEXICO CITY, July 21 (Reuters) - Mexican conglomerate Alfa said on Tuesday it was still interested in participating in the country’s oil auctions after it dropped a joint bid for Canada’s Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp. earlier this month.
“We’re still very interested in participating in the energy business in Mexico,” Chief Financial Officer Ramon Leal said on a second-quarter earnings call. “It’s likely that we’ll have to do it with someone and we’re looking at whom.”
Company spokesman Enrique Flores said the company was interested in participating in the second and third phases of the country’s so-called Round One of the auctions, which will cover shallow water blocks and onshore blocks, respectively.
Alfa, which owns around 19 percent of Pacific Rubiales , dropped its C$2 billion ($1.54 billion) joint offer for the company with Harbour Energy.
The first phase of Mexico’s historic opening of its oil sector got off to a disappointing start earlier this month as the government auctioned off just two of 14 blocks. The next group of fields will be auctioned in September.
Alfa, which controls petrochemical, car parts and food businesses, said its second-quarter net profit rose nearly 47 percent to 2.81 billion pesos ($179 million), mostly due to the inclusion of meat company Campofrio in its results.
Revenue excluding Campofrio fell 8 percent, mainly because of a fall in petrochemicals prices at its Alpek unit, reflecting the global slump in oil prices.
($1 = 15.6950 pesos at end of June)
$1 = 1.2945 Canadian dollars Reporting by Joanna Zuckerman Bernstein, Adriana Barrera and Christine Murray; Editing by Dan Grebler