GLOBAL ECONOMY

Mexico's first auction of oil sites in seven decades draws few bids

GULF OF MEXICO - SEPTEMBER 4: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been released by U.S. Military prior to transmission.)  In this handout image provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, the damaged blow out preventer along with the Lower Marine Riser Package (LMRP) cap from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that caused the massive oil spill is extracted and put aboard the vessel Q4000 on September 4, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico.  The 50-foot, 300-ton preventer was removed and replaced on the well head by a newly tested preventer and will be taken for evidence to a NASA facility in Louisiana in the ongoing investigation with the Deepwater Horizon Criminal Investigation Team and FBI Evidence Recovery Team.  (Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Thomas M. Blue/U.S. Coast Guard via Getty Images)

GULF OF MEXICO - SEPTEMBER 4: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been released by U.S. Military prior to transmission.) In this handout image provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, the damaged blow out preventer along with the Lower Marine Riser Package (LMRP) cap from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that caused the massive oil spill is extracted and put aboard the vessel Q4000 on September 4, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico. The 50-foot, 300-ton preventer was removed and replaced on the well head by a newly tested preventer and will be taken for evidence to a NASA facility in Louisiana in the ongoing investigation with the Deepwater Horizon Criminal Investigation Team and FBI Evidence Recovery Team. (Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Thomas M. Blue/U.S. Coast Guard via Getty Images)  (2010 U.S. Coast Guard)

Mexico is getting off to a rough start in its effort to attract investment for its oil fields by allowing private companies to enter the energy sector after a seven-decade state monopoly.

Only two of 14 exploration and production blocks in the Gulf of Mexico put up for auction Wednesday attracted bids, and the auction did not attract the world's biggest oil companies.

The government fell far short of its prediction that 30 percent to 50 percent of the zones would draw bids.

A consortium led by the Mexican company Sierra Oil & Gas won both contracts that drew bids. Sierra's consortium includes the U.S. Talos Energy and the British Premier Oil.

Until last year's legislative overhaul, Mexico's oil sector had been closed to private companies since nationalization in 1938.

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