Mexican authorities will hold a deep-water oil auction Wednesday, the largest since the country's government opened the sector to private industry.
So far 26 companies from 16 countries—among them US heavyweights Exxon and Chevron, as well as the British-Dutch Shell and France's Total—are qualified to participate in the auction of 29 oil blocks in the Gulf of Mexico, according to Mexico's oil regulator.
The auction follows a major energy reform in 2013 that saw the state-owned Pemex lose its seven-decade-old monopoly on hydrocarbon production.
With the landmark change, President Enrique Pena Nieto cleared the path for auctions in a bid to inject foreign capital into the politically-sensitive state-owned oil industry.
The fields on the auctioning block are estimated to contain some 4.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent.
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