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Pemex bullish as Mexico's upstream opens up

Interest in the Mexican oil monopoly’s upstream operating contracts looks strong as first bid round date is set

Mexico's state-owned oil monopoly is talking up its new operating contracts, which will see the private sector secure a foothold in the country’s onshore upstream play for the first time. Although the first bid round, set for August, will see only three small oilfields awarded to privately owned operators, Pemex officials are talking of putting as many as 20 blocks, including deep-water licences, into operators’ hands by the end of 2012. Whether that number will end up in private-sector hands is questionable given the multiple delays that have slowed the release of the first contracts. But private-sector participation in the oil sector has received critical backing from important political

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