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Calgary — Mexico's National Hydrocarbon Commission will auction 35 shallow-water blocks in its first invitation to bids of the country's third hydrocarbon auction round, or Round 3.1, the commission, or CNH, said Thursday.

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These blocks have a range of prospective resources ranging from light to heavy crudes, as well wet and dry gas blocks, the CNH said at a webcast session. The auction will be held March 27, 2018.

The total area of the blocks is 26,300 sq km. They are in the Burgos, Tampico-Misantla-Veracruz and Cuencas del Sureste basins.

A new feature of Round 3.1 is the inclusion of four "exploration-extraction clusters," CNH said. These blocks include discovered fields that were not awarded in Round 2.1.



These blocks will give access to areas with exploration potential as well discovered fields ready for development, CNH has said previously.

CNH will auction 14 fields with a total area of 8,400 sq km in the Burgos region in the state of Tamaulipas' offshore. This is the first time Mexico would offer blocks in this region.

These have an average area of 602 sq km, water depths up to 590 meters and prospective resources of 56% wet gas and 44% light oil. Expected resources for four blocks is wet gas and for 10 blocks is light oil.

CNH will offer 13 blocks in the Tampico-Misantla-Veracruz, or TMV, basin with a total area close to 12,500 sq km. These blocks have an average area of 960 sq km and their water depths are up to 860 meters.

Total prospective resources in this area are 61% dry gas, 18% wet gas and 21% light oil. Seven blocks have light oil and six mostly dry gas prospective resources.

Related: Find more content about Mexico's commodity landscape in our news and analysis feature. Additionally, read our special report, Mexico's energy transformation takes hold.

CNH will offer at TMV two exploration and production clusters. The first is Block 15, with two discovered fields, Tiburon and Tintorera, with light oil of 33 API.

Second is Block 21 with three discovered fields. Cangreja with heavy oil of 22 API and associated gas, Mejillon with light oil of 40 API and associated gas, and Kosni, a pure gas field. The government added new acreage to these blocks with more prospective resource to make them more attractive to industry, a CNH spokesman told S&P Global Platts on Thursday.

Mexico will also offer eight blocks with at the prolific Cuencas del Sureste basin, where state oil company Pemex has significant projects such as Cantarell, Ku-Maloob Zaap and Ayin-Batsil.

The total area of these blocks is close to 5,350 sq km. These have an average size of 670 sq km and have a water depth of up to 880 meters.

The total prospective resources in this area are 48% light oil, 10% wet and dry gas, and 42% heavy oil. Six blocks have light oil and two blocks have heavy oil and wet gas resources.

In this region, CNH will offer two exploration and production clusters. Block 31 has two discovered fields, Xicope, a pure gas field, and Xaxamani, an oil and gas field. Block 34 has the Tunich Field, which has 8 API heavy oil.

--Daniel Rodriguez, newsdesk@spglobal.com

--Edited by Richard Rubin, richard.rubin@spglobal.com