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Mexico oil auctions stumble out of the block

Mexico’s oil reformers were poised in July to celebrate a successful outcome. But the first licensing round open to foreign investors since the 1930s drew a virtual blank

Just two of 14 blocks were awarded in the 15 July auction and most of the industry’s big names remained on the sidelines.  The setback has prompted a round of soul searching for Mexico’s oil policymakers. “What went wrong?” the head of the National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH), Juan Carlos Zepeda asked in the hours after the first bidding. “We will have to reflect on this.” Since, the government has talked hopefully of “lessons learned”.  Significantly, the much-anticipated deep-water bid round, the crown jewel of Mexico’s oil opening, has been delayed. The round is now scheduled to kick off in late September, with blocks being awarded in February, though many say that timeline could agai

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