European oil majors are swarming the shallow-waters of the Gulf of Mexico as the country races to attract investment before an election.
Anglo-Dutch giant Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the U.K.’s BP Plc, France’s Total SA, Italy’s Eni SpA, Spain’s Repsol SA, Russia’s Lukoil PJSC and DEA Deutsche Erdoel AG of Germany all won blocks -- a number of them in partnership with state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos. Among notable absentees were U.S. majors like Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., which have grabbed deep-water prospects in a previous round.
Mexico is trying to lure as much oil investment as possible before the president who overhauled the country’s energy industry, Enrique Pena Nieto, is replaced in December. The country has awarded more than 100 oil development contracts since his 2013 energy reforms, which ended Pemex’s monopoly.