Mexico City — Private oil companies maintain their interest in Mexico, despite senator and opposition presidential candidate Xóchitl Gálvez saying in recent days that the auctions of blocks in the country are no longer attractive to companies looking to invest, according to the Association of Hydrocarbon Companies (AMEXHI).
“Companies maintain their interest in continuing to carry out exploration and production activities in Mexico”, EMXHI director general Merlin Cochran told Bloomberg Línea, contrasting with the opinion of Gálvez, who told media on October 18 that oil companies no longer want to invest in Mexico.
“(Companies) don’t even want to come anymore, Mexico is no longer an attractive country”, Gálvez said at the Joint Congress of Energy Associations in Mexico City.
The reactivation of oil and gas rounds, which were halted by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has been one of the main requests by the private sector. The government canceled two auctions that had been scheduled by the previous administration, with a policy shift toward the rescue of the state-owned oil company Pemex.
“We want to continue working in favor of Mexico,” Cochran added.
Chaired by Andrés Brügmann, AMEXHI groups together 31 energy sector companies, including Shell, Exxonmobil, TotalEnergies, BP and Grupo México.
The country’s National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH) has identified 500 areas with oil potential ready for auction, despite the current government having chosen to halt auctions, given the low production contributed by private oil companies operating in the country, and which currently totals around 100,000 barrels per day with investments totaling $13.7 billion following the opening up of the sector to private investment as a resulr of the 2013 energy reform.
Oil giants such as BP, Chevron and Equinor have returned all the assets they won in auctions and are in the process of abandoning the exploration and production sector in Mexico.
Gálvez has been one of the opposition politicians who has criticized the energy policy of the López Obrador government and its attempts to favor Mexican state-owned companies, and has promoted competition in the sector, particularly in the electricity industry.