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Mexico Relaxes Auction Rules for Oil Development Sites

The action follows disappointing results from the first tender of development blocks, in mid-July.

MEXICO CITY - Bidding requirements for the development of several Mexican oil and natural gas blocks have been relaxed in order to attract foreign investors, Mexico's National Hydrocarbons Commission has announced.

The action follows disappointing results from the first tender of development blocks, in mid-July.

"The changes we are bringing about are intended to attract more investment, improve job creation and increase oil and natural gas production," CNH explained in a statement late Tuesday.

The rule changes allow for greater flexibility in filing a bid and in forming consortiums.

The ministries of energy and finance also changed rules on guarantees, insurance and arbitration.

On July 15, Mexico put the development of 14 shallow-water Gulf of Mexico sites up for auction, but only two attracted bidders.

Four more phases in this first round of tenders are expected. The most highly anticipated are for deep-water sites, which will take place at the start of 2016.

Last year, President Enrique Peña Nieto approved controversial reforms to the petroleum sector, breaking up a state monopoly that had dated to 1938, with the goal of revitalizing oil production and stimulating the country's economy after years of declining production.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015

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