Mexico's government foresees bidding on first round of private oil contracts in 2015

Mexican officials say they expect to open bidding on the first round of private oil contracts in the first half of 2015.

A constitutional reform passed last year opened the state-owned energy sector to private investment. But enabling legislation is still before congress.

Mexico's assistant energy secretary says the first round of bidding will offer a range of shale gas, onshore and deep water fields.

Lourdes Melgar said Monday that Mexico hopes to have private companies producing a half million barrels of oil a day by 2018, while state-owned oil company Petroleos Mexicanos should maintain production at about 2.5 million barrels a day.

Mexican tax authorities say they expect government revenue, on average, to be about 50 percent of production value from private projects operated under contract, license or concession.