Published On: Thu, Apr 3rd, 2014

Bill Maloney, executive vice president of Statoil considers Mexico is still a wait-and-see investment opportunity

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Would-be Mexican suitors want to see a whole lot more detail before they decide whether they will make a race for the border to top the nation’s newly opened oil and gas reserves.

Mexico passed constitutional laws last December that ended the monopoly of national oil company Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex. But regulations governing the details are still being developed — and those regulations will be critical in determining whether Statoil would consider investing, said Bill Maloney, Statoil’s executive vice president of development and production.

Bill Maloney, executive vice president of Statoil (Photo: Emily Pickrell/Houston Chronicle)

Bill Maloney, executive vice president of Statoil (Photo: Emily Pickrell/Houston Chronicle)

Pemex now wants to form partnerships with international operators, such as Statoil, by the end of the year. But, in a Wednesday interview with FuelFix, Maloney made it clear that no decisions can be made before these rules are well understood.

All of us have thought that there is large potential in Mexico, but there are some wait-and-sees here,” Maloney said. “What will the terms of the conditions be? What areas will be for Pemex versus those competitive bidding? How will the partnerships work and who chooses?”

Policy timeline: First bidding round for Mexico will be June 2015.

Maloney said that in a recent meeting with the leaders of Pemex, Statoil made it clear that it would look intently at how lucrative any partnerships with Pemex would be, and judge accordingly.

We talked about the fact that you have to compete for our capital dollars,” Maloney said, noting that current projects include those in Brazil, the Gulf of Mexico, offshore Angola, Tanzania and offshore Canada. “We rank things on a global basis and only the top opportunities get drilled. Mexico will have to compete in Statoil with everyone else.”

Statoil would also need access to Mexico’s seismic data – or a way to gain its own data – before it could move forward on any potential investment decisions.

Mexico sits on what could be termed as a treasure trove of data,” Maloney said. “How Mexico will handle the release of data in order to allow us to start analyzing it and interpreting is another unknown.”


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