MEXICO CITY – Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto said Friday that private companies had committed to invest a total of $70 billion in the wake of a 2013 energy-sector overhaul that opened that long-state-controlled industry to private investment.
“Thanks to the approval of the energy reform, $70 billion worth of investments have been pledged throughout the energy sector, both in hydrocarbons and electricity,” Peña Nieto said at a ceremony in which state-owned oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) and Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP Billiton signed a contract for the deepwater Trion oil block.
Peña Nieto said at the Los Pinos presidential palace that the overhaul would allow Mexico, which has seen its oil production fall steadily in recent years, to fully capitalize on its vast energy resources.
Referring to the Trion project, which was awarded late last year and marks Pemex’s first exploration and production partnership with a foreign company at one of its fields, Peña Nieto said a total of $11 billion would need to be invested over the 35-year lifetime of the contract.
That contract may later be extended by terms of 10 years and five years each.
Peña Nieto said foreign companies such as BHP Billiton, Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and China’s state-run China National Offshore Oil Corp., all of which won rights to invest in Mexican offshore fields in an auction in December, were investing in Mexico despite global uncertainty and volatility.
Energy Secretary Pedro Joaquin Coldwell said for his part that thanks to the historic Round One auctions of onshore and offshore fields 48 private companies – 26 of which are Mexican – were now participating in the hydrocarbons industry.
They are expected to invest a combined $49 billion, to be paid out in the periods specified in their contracts.
The various nationalities of the companies that won rights in the different auctions have broadened Mexico’s geo-economic horizons, he concluded.