On November 28, 2014, the administrative provisions for bidding processes and granting of contracts for the exploration and extraction of hydrocarbons, issued by the National Hydrocarbons Commission, were published in the Official Daily of the Federation and entered into force as of the day of their publication.

General provisions

These provisions are intended to establish and regulate the acts and the phases comprised in bidding processes for the awarding of contracts for the exploration and extraction of hydrocarbons, according to the provided in the Law of Hydrocarbons, in the Hydrocarbon Revenue Law, in the Law of Energy Regulatory Bodies and in the applicable secondary energy laws.

It is established that in a bidding process, a committee comprised by a group of public officers of the National Hydrocarbons Commission, will be responsible for coordinating and executing the bidding process, in accordance to the bidding terms established in the specific case.

Bidding process

The administrative provisions establish the different mechanisms through which the participants may enter into the bidding processes. The bidding process can be conducted physically, through electronic media, or using a combination of both. When the bidding process is conducted through electronic media, the offers may be submitted by using information technologies that ensure the authenticity and confidentiality of the information provided.

Additionally, it is established that the National Hydrocarbons Commission will determine the phases of the bidding process, taking into consideration the bidding terms established by the Ministry of Energy, as well as the nature, characteristics, magnitude and complexity of each phase. Likewise, the minimum phases that a bidding process shall comprise are established in the new provisions.

In addition to the above, the minimum requirements that the bidding invitations to participate in a bidding process shall include are established therein. The information that shall be included in the bidding terms is also established.

According to the provisions, the National Hydrocarbons Commission will establish in the bidding terms the procedure through which any question or clarification requests with respect to such terms could be submitted. The National Hydrocarbons Commission will be entitled to, at any time, modify, clarify, abolish or carry out any amendment to the bidding terms and to the contract projects. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any modification made to the bidding terms, including those derived from the clarification phase, shall be considered to be part of the bidding terms and shall then be considered by the participants to make their offers.

The elements that the participants in the public bidding processes shall provide to demonstrate their expertise and their technical, financial, legal and operational capacity will be established by the Ministry of Energy in the technical guidelines that such ministry shall issue with respect to each public bidding process. The information to be provided by the participants for such purpose shall meet the requirements established in the provisions discussed herein.

Likewise, these provisions establish the items that will be included in the decision that the National Hydrocarbons Commission shall issue for the awarding of a contract for the exploration and extraction of hydrocarbons. The situations under which the National Hydrocarbons Commission may consider a bidding process as unfilled totally or partially are also established.

Contracts for exploration and extraction of hydrocarbons

It is established that the bidding terms shall contemplate that contracts for exploration and extraction of hydrocarbons may only be entered into by State Productive Companies and by private entities incorporated under the Mexican legislation.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.