Oil majors pay Mexico oil regulator $80 mln for deep water data

03/09/2016 Yahoo News 

energy - oil_rigMEXICO CITY, March 9 (Reuters) – Oil companies have paid Mexico’s oil regulator nearly $80 million for seismic data ahead of an auction for deep water fields, suggesting robust interest in the tender despite a lasting slump in the price of crude.

Thirteen companies, including Exxon Mobil (Swiss: XOM.SWnews) , BP and BHP Billiton, have paid a total of 1.38 billion pesos ($78 million) to date for licenses to use deep water data, according to a document from national oil regulator CNH seen by Reuters.

Company executives say the sum reflects only a fraction of their spending in the past year to acquire geological data ahead of the Dec. 5 auction, which will feature 10 largely unexplored blocks in the Gulf of Mexico.

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