Mexico Will Release Seismic Data for Oil Exploration

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The President of Mexico’s National Hydrocarbons Commission stated on March 12 that Mexico will release years of seismic data that will help the country attract investment in its oil sector. Juan Carlos Zepeda Molina said that state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) will allow investors to review the seismic data, providing them with information about Mexico’s oil fields. “We will disclose all the seismic information that has been kept confidential for decades,” Zepeda said. “Isn’t that amazing?” Zepeda spoke at a conference in Houston.

Oil companies will no doubt welcome the move, having stated that seismic information would be a major factor when making investment decisions. Mexico plans to hold its first oil lease auction in June 2015. Therefore, the release of the seismic data is important since it can take companies and investors months to review and interpret.

Zepeda also wanted to reassure oil companies about regulatory certainty. “You should not expect any creativity from us,” Zepeda said. “We are planning to be a boring regulator with international standards. We want to provide certainty, stability and predictability. I want you to feel in Mexico that we are an extension of the international oil industry.”

Mexico is eager to attract international investment after passing major energy reform last year. Pemex’s executive chief of staff Froylan Garcia Galicia also spoke at the conference and he said that Mexico’s energy reform could bring in $35 billion in investment. And joint ventures between Pemex and international companies will allow Pemex to grow its capital budget from $25 billion to $60 billion. Mexico hopes to focus first on its existing oil fields, using international expertise to improve recovery. But it also wants to tap its unconventional oil fields, which it believes can be as prolific as some of the best oil shale plays in the United States.

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