ExxonMobil, Chevron and Hess have reportedly agreed to team up to bid on offshore Mexico blocks at an upcoming auction.

A source close to the matter told Bloomberg that the three firms have reached a joint operating agreement to form a consortium that will bid on deepwater Mexico blocks.

The deepwater auction is scheduled for December 5.

A Chevron spokesperson told Bloomberg that the company will not comment on “speculation.”

Exxon and Hess declined to comment on the matter.

According to Bloomberg, other large companies interested in bidding on the blocks could sign similar deals because of the high capital requirements that bidders must meet in order to participate.

Twenty six companies, including Royal Dutch Shell and BP, have also qualified to participate in the auction.

The auction will mark the first time that Mexico has allowed foreign and private firms to bid on deepwater blocks.

According to Reuters, Mexico will auction drilling rights to 10 blocks in the Gulf of Mexico with four of the blocks straddling the country’s maritime border with the United States.

The country’s government hopes to raise as much as $44 billion from the auction, Bloomberg said.

Mexico’s first ever offering of oil and gas blocks to private and foreign firms was met with little enthusiasm last year.

Upstreams only picked up two of the 14 shallow water blocks offered during that auction.

The Mexican government suspended its initial plans for deepwater auction after the disappointing turnout to retool some of its auction rules.

In August of 2014, Mexico’s government agreed to open up the country’s oil and industry to private and foreign investment, ending state-owned Pemex’s 75-year long monopoly.


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