April 26, 2018 / 8:59 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 2-Mexico's Pemex will tender for partners in seven onshore areas -regulator

(Adds details on tender)

MEXICO CITY, April 26 (Reuters) - Mexico’s National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH) said on Thursday that national oil company Pemex will tender for partners in seven onshore areas to form joint venture projects.

The CNH said that Pemex will have a 45 percent stake in the onshore areas scheduled to be tendered on Oct. 31. The tender, which represents more than 20 sites that have been grouped into seven areas, should generate up to $870 million dollars of investment.

Pemex has tempered expectations for the year after failing to find partners on its Ayin-Batsil shallow water development and the Nobilis-Maximino deepwater project, whose tender was canceled in December due to lack of interest. Pemex will not operate the projects.

By mid-year 2017, Pemex was considering 160 onshore and offshore areas for development. Now just seven more modest onshore projects are planned for such partnerships in the states of Veracruz, Chiapas and Tabasco, according to company statements.

Crude production in the areas covered by the tender is expected to reach a total of up to 58,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2022-2023, up from the current production of 33,000 bpd, the CNH said during the presentation. Gas production is expected to rise to 310 million cubic feet per day, up from 190 million cubic feet per day at present.

“These are allocations that we already have in production, which already have a certain level of proven reserves; that’s exactly why we are choosing to move them to partners to invest in them and boost production,” said Gabriel Macias, who is part of Pemex’s legal team.

The government of President Enrique Pena Nieto enacted a wide-ranging reform in 2013-2014 to encourage foreign investment and end the slide in oil output to multi-year lows.

The reform ended Pemex’s 75-year monopoly over the energy sector, one of the key generators of revenue for the government.

Mexico has opened oil and gas exploration and production, as well as retail sale of fuel, to private investors. (Reporting by Adriana Barrera Writing by Anthony Esposito and Julia Love Editing by Phil Berlowitz and Marguerita Choy)

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