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Mexico swims against the tide

Reviving bidding rounds seems the rational answer to the country’s upstream woes. But the government remains defiant for now

Mexico is rapidly becoming a global exploration hotspot. Spanish operator Repsol announced two major new oil discoveries in early May, while in February Italy’s Eni made its own significant find. Private companies operating in Mexico plan to drill half of all Latin American exploration wells this year. But while there is clear interest in the country’s offshore potential, the government’s upstream strategy is puzzling. All bidding rounds for new acreage remain shelved, and Mexican President Andres Lopez Obrador has shown little interest in restarting them, despite the low financial risk for the government and the majority share it will receive from any oil produced. Unlike Brazil, which ha

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