Mexico needs 15 successful upstream auctions to reach output forecast: AMEXHI

Mexico City (Platts)--14 Mar 2017 535 pm EDT/2135 GMT

Mexico would require at least 15 upstream oil and gas auction rounds as successful as Round 1 to fulfill the International Energy Agency's production forecast, a Mexican Association of Hydrocarbon Companies, or AMEXHI, study showed Tuesday.

The IEA Mexican Energy Outlook forecast Mexico could produce 2.8 million b/d in 2040, adding the country requires investments of $640 billion to achieve this production level. From that 2.8 million b/d, 2.5 million b/d would come from new projects in 2040.

"This is a titanic effort," said Pablo Zarate, information director of AMEXHI's research center, said at an AMEXHI event Tuesday.

Related story: Mexico's CFE chief eyes 'strategic alliance' private sector

Only 2% of Mexico's total oil production comes from reservoirs that started producing in the last 25 years, Monica Boe, leader of AMEXHI's resource access committee, said at the event.

This is a small amount compared with US' 7%, Venezuela's 8%, and the UK's 35%.

"The amount of new discoveries in Mexico are very low. To reverse this, we need to explore intensively," said Boe.

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To achieve the 2.8 million b/d production level, Mexico would require drilling between 20 and 30 exploratory wells and 40 and 50 evaluation wells every year until 2040, said Boe.

Under an investment analysis, Mexico would require investments of $26.6 billion per year.

Zarate said that close to half of the required investment could come from Pemex, which would have to invest $14.3 billion per year, or $300 billion until 2040.

These numbers were calculated under Pemex's investment levels in recent years, said Zarate.

Pemex invested a historical record of $16.6 billion in 2014 with oil prices at $98/b, then invested $9.6 billion in 2015 with prices at $52/b, and $6.5 billion in 2016 with prices at $43/b.

The private sector would have to invest $12.3 billion per year, or $340 billion under this period.

According to Zarate, Mexico would require investments from 15 bid rounds as successful as round 1 to raise the remaining $340 billion.

Mexico Energy Secretariat, or aSENER, predicted Round 1 would bring $41 billion. However, Zarate said after applying an exploratory risk factor, AMEXHI expects a minimum investment level of $20 billion will materialize from the round.

--Daniel Rodriguez,

--Edited by Richard Rubin,

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